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Seven years have elapsed since this work was first 
promised to the public. It was then stated that its 
object would be at once to present the English reader 
with a correct yet free translation, and to collect and 
methodise for the student the chief illustrations of the 
author, which modem learning and research had up to 
that time accumulated. The promise thus made might 
without much difficulty have been redeemed within the 
space. of two or three years. Parallel however with 
the progress of the work, which was commenced at 
once, a series of fresh discoveries continued for several 
years to be made — more especially on points connected 
with the ethnography of the East, and the history, 
geography, and religion of Babylonia and Assyria — 
the results of which it seemed desirable to incorporate, 
at whatever cost of time and labour. Great portions 
of the present volume had thus, from time to time, to 
be rewritten. This circumstance, and the unavoidable 
absence of Sir Henry Rawlinson from England during 
three years out of the seven, will, it is hoped, be deemed 
sufficient apology for the delay that has occurred in the 

Some apology may also seem to be required for the 
project of a new translation. When this work was 
designed, Herodotus already existed in our language in 


five or six different versions. Besides literal transla- 

tions intended merely for the use of students, Littlebury 
in 1737, Beloe in 1791, and Mr. Isaac Taylor in 1829, 
had given " the Father of History " an English dress 
designed to recommend him to the general reader. 
The defects of the two former of these works — defects 
arising in part from the low state of Greek scholarship 
at the time when they were written, in part from the in- 
competency of the writers — precluded of necessity their 
adoption, even as the basis of a new English Herodotus. 
The translation of Mr. Isaac Taylor is of a higher order, 
and had it been more accurate would have left little to 
desiderate. The present translator was not however 
aware of its existence until after he had completed his 
task, or he would have been inclined, if permitted, to 
have adopted, with certain changes, Mr. Taylor's version. 
It is hoped that the public may derive some degree of 
advantage from this redundancy of labour in the same 
field, and may find the present work a more exact, 
if not a more spirited, representation of the Greek 

There are, however, one or two respects in which the 
present translation does not lay claim to strict accuracy. 
Occasional passages offensive to modern delicacy have 
been retrenched, and others have been modified by the 
alteration of a few phrases. In the orthography of 
names, moreover, and in the rendering of the appella- 
tions of the Greek deities, the Latinised forms, with 
which our ear is most familiar, have been adopted in 
preference to the closer and more literal representation 
of the words, which has recently obtained the sanction 
of some very eminent writers. In a work intended for 


general reading, it was thought that unfamiliar forms 
were to be eschewed ; and that accuracy in such matters, 
although perhaps more scholar-like, would be dearly 
purchased at the expense of harshness and repulsive- 

It has not been considered desirable to encumber the 
text with a great multitude of foot-notes. The prin- 
cipal lines of inquiry opened up by the historian have 
been followed out in " Essays," which are placed sepa- 
rately at the end of the several " Books " into which 
the history is divided. In the running comment upon 
the text which the foot-notes furnish, while it is hoped 
that no really important illustration of the narrative of 
Herodotus from classical writers of authority has been 
omitted, the main endeavour has been to confine such 
comment within reasonable compass, and to avoid the 
mistake into which Larcher and Bahr have fallen, of 
overlaying the text with the commentary. If the prin- 
ciple here indicated is anywhere infringed, it will be 
found that the infringement arises from a press of 
modem matter not previously brought to bear upon 
the author, and of a character which seemed to require 
juxtaposition with his statements. 

The Editor cannot lay this instalment of his work 
before the public without at once recording his obliga- 
tions to the kindness of several friends. His grateful 
acknowledgments are due to the Kector and Fellows 
of Exeter College for the free use of their valuable 
library ; to Dr. Bandinel, librarian of the Bodleian, and 
the Rev. H. 0. Coxe, sub-librarian of the same, for 
much attention and courtesy; to Professor Lassen of 
Bonn, for kind directions as to German sources of illus- 


tration ; to Dr. Scott, Master of Balliol, for assistance 
on diflScult points of scliolarship ; and to Professor 
Max MuUer, of this University, for many useful hints 
upon subjects connected with ethnology and compara- 
tive philology. Chiefly, however, he has to thank his 
two colleagues, Sir Henry Rawlinson and Sir Gardner 
Wilkinson, for their invaluable assistance. The share 
which these writers have taken in the work is very 
insufficiently represented by the attachment of their 
initials to the notes and essays actually contributed by 
them. Sir Henry Rawlinson especially has exercised a 
general supervision over the Oriental portion of the 
comment ; and although he is of course not to be re- 
garded as responsible for any statements but those to 
which his initials are affixed, he has in fact lent his aid 
throughout in all that concerns the geography, ethno- 
graphy, and history of the Eastern nations. It was the 
promise of this assistance which alone emboldened the 
Editor to undertake a work of such pretension as the 
fiiU illustration from the best sources, ancient and 
modem, of so discursive a writer as Herodotus. It will 
be, he feels, the advantage derived from the free be- 
stowal of the assistance which will lend to the work 
itself its principal and most permanent interest. 

Oxford, January' Ist, 1868. 





Impossibility of writing a complete life of Herodotus. His time, as determined 
from his History. Date of his birth, as fixed by ancient writers, B.C. 484. 
His birthplace — Halicarnassus. His parents, Lyxes and Rhoeo — their means 
and station. A branch of his family settled in Chios, probably. His educa- 
tion, and acquaintance with Qreek literature. His travels, their extent and 
completeness. Their probable date and starting-point. Circumstances of his 
life, according to Suidas and other writers. Political adventures — ^their truth 
questioned. Residence at Samos— doubtful. Removal to Athens. Recita- 
tion of his work there. Reward assigned him. Alleged recitations in other 
Greek cities. The pretended recitation at Olympia. Thucydides and Hero- 
dotus. Herodotus and Sophocles. Men of note whom Herodotus would 
meet at Athens. Reasons for his leaving it. Colonisation of Thurium. Men 
of note among the early colonists. The History of Herodotus retouched, but 
not originally composed, at Thurium. Some large portions may have been 
written there ; and his History of Assyria. State of Thurium during his 
residence. Time and place of his death. Herodotus probably unmarried: 
his heir Plesirrhoiis. His great work left unfinished at his decease . . Page 1 



Iinp^irtance of the question. Historical materials already existing in Greece. 
Works of three kinds : 1. Mythological; 2. Geographical; 3. Strictly histori- 
cal. How far used as materials by Herodotus. Xanthus. Charon. Diony- 
Hiiis. The geographers : Hecatseus, Scylax, Aristeas. The poets. Chief 
source of the History of Herodotus, personal observation and inquiry. How 
fiu* authenticated by monumental records: 1. In Greece; 2. In foreign coun- 
tries — Egypt, Babylon, Persia. General result .'^7 




Merits of Herodotus as a historian: 1. Diligence. 2. Honesty — Failure of all 
attacks on his veracity. 3. Impartiality — Chaises of prejudice — Remarkable 
instances of candour. 4. Political dispassionateness. 5. Freedom from 

national vanity. Defects as a historian: 1. Credidity — ^Belief in omens, 

oracles, dreams, &c. — Theory of Divine Nemesis — Marvels in Nature. 2. 
Spirit of exaggeration — Anecdotes. 3. Want of Accuracy — Discrepancies — 
Repetitions — Loose chronology, &c. 4. Want of historical insight — Confusion 
of occasions with causes — Defective geography — Absurd meteorology — 

Mythology — Philology.- Merits as a tor iter: 1. Unity — Scope of the work. 

2. Clever management of the episodes — Question of their relevancy. 3. Skill 
in character-drawing — The Persians — The Spartans — The Athenians — Persian 
and Spartan kings : Themistocles — Aristides — Greek Tyrants : Crcesus — 
Amasis — Nitocris — Tomyris, &c. 4. Dramatic power. 5. Pathos. 6. Humour. 
7. Variety. 8. Pictorial description. 9. Simplicity. 10. Beauty of style. 
Conclusion Page 74 



Causes of the war between Qreece and Persia — 1. Mythic (1-5). 2. Historic — 
Aggressions of Croesus — Previous Lydian History (6-25). Conquests of 
CroBsus (26-28). Visit of Solon to the court of Croesus (29-33). Story of 
AdrastuB and Atys (34-45). Prepejiations of Croosus against Cyrus — Con- 
sultation of the oracles (46-55). Croesus seeks a Greek alliance — Hellenes 
and Pelasgi (56-58). State of Athens under Pisistratus (59-64). Early 
History of Sparta (65-68). Alliance of Croesus with Sparta (69-70). Croesus 
warned (71). Croesus invades Cappadocia — His war with Cyrus (72-85). 
Danger and deliverance of Croesus (86-87). His advice to Cyrus (88-89). 
His message to the Delphic oracle (90-91). His offerings (92). Wonders of 
Lydia (93). Manners and customs of the Lydians (94). History of Cyrus — 
Old Assyrian Empire— Revolt of Media (95). Early Median History (96-107). 
Birth and bringing-up of Cyrus (108-122). Incitements to revolt (123-4). 
He sounds the feelings of the Persians — their Ten Tribes (125-6). Revolt 
and struggle (127-130). Customs of the Persians (131-140). Cyrus threatens 
the Ionian Qreeks (141 ). Account of the Greek settlements in Aiua ( 1 42-1 51 ). 
Sparta interferes to protect the Greeks (152). Sardis revolts and is reduced 
(153-7). Fate of Pactyas (158-160;. Reduction of the Asiatic Greeks 
(161-170). The Carians, Caunians, and Lycians attacked — their customs — 
Uiey submit to the Persians (171-6). Conquests of Cyrus in Upper Asia 
(177). Description of Babylon (178-187). Cyrus marches on Babylon 
(188-190). Fall of Babylon (191). DescripUon of Babylonia (192-3). 
Customs of the Babylonians (194-200). Expedition of Cyrus against the 
Massageta (201). The River Araxes (202). The Caspian (203-4). 
Tomyris — her offer to Cyrus (205-6). Advice given by Croesus, adopted 
by Cyrus (207-8). Dream of Cyrus (209-210). Two battles with the 
Massagetae — Defeat and death of Cyrus (211-4). Manners and customs of 
the Massagetffi (215) : 153 





1. Date of the taking of Sardis by Cyrus — according to the common account, B.C. 
546. 2. According to Yolney and Heeren, b.c. 557. 3. Probable actual date, 
B.C. 554. 4. First or mythic period of Lydian history — dynasty of the 
Atyadse. 5. Colonisation of Etruria. 6. Conquest of the Mseonians by the 
Lydians — Torrhebia. 7. Second period — dynasty of the HeraclidaB, B.C. 1229 
to B.C. 724 — descent of Agron. 8. Scantiness of the historical data for this 
period. 9. Lydiaca of Xanthus. 10. Insignificance of Lydia before Gyges. 
11. Third period, B.O. 724-554 — legend of Qyges — he obtains the throne by 
favour of the Delphic oracle. 12. Reign of Qyges, B.C. 724-686 — his wars 
with the Qreeks of the coast. 13. Reign of Ardys, B.C. 686-637. 14. In- 
▼asion of the Cinmierians. 15. Reign of Sadyattes, b.c. 637-625. 16. Reign 
of Alyattes, b.c. 625^568 — war with Miletus. 17. Great war between Alyattes 
and Cyaxares, king of Media — eclipse of Thales, B.C. 610 (?). 18. Peaceful 
close of his reign — employment of the population in the construction of his 
tomb. 19. Supposed association of Croosus in the government by Alyattes. 
20. Reign of Croesus, b.c. 568-554 — his enormous wealth. ' 21. Powerful 
effect on the Greek mind of his reverse of fortune — his history becomes a 
favourite theme with romance writers, who continually embellish it . . Page 353 



1. Physical Geography of Asia Minor — Shape, dimensions, and boundaries. 
2. Great central Plateau. 3. Division of Plateau — Lake region — Northern 
flat — Rivers which drain the latter — (i.) The yechil-Irmak, or Iris — 
(ii.) The Kizil-lnwik, or Halys — (iii.) The iStiMariaA, or Sangarius. 4. Coast 
tracts outside the Plateau: (i.) Southern — (ii.) Northern — (iii.) Western. 

5. Its rivers. 6. Its general character. 7. Political Geography. 8. Fifteen 
nations: (i.) Phrygians— (ii.) Matieni — (iii.) Cilicians — (iv.) Pamphylians — 
(v.) Lycians — (vi.) Caunians — (vii.) Carians — (viii.) Lydians — (ix.) Greeks — 
(x.) Mysians — (xi.) Thracians — (xiL) Mariandyuians — (xiii.) Paphlagonians — 
(xiv.) Chalybes — (xv.) Cappadocians. 9. Comparison of Herodotus with 
Ephorus 388 



1. Arian origin of the Medes. 2. Close connexion with the Persians. 3. Original 
migration from beyond the Sutlej. 4. Medes occupy the tract south of the 
Caspian. 5. First contact between Media and Assyria — Conquest of Sargon. 

6. Media under the Assyrians. 7. Establishment of the independence : 
(i.) Account of Ctesias— (ii.) Account of Herodotus. 8. Cyaxares the real 


founder of the monarchy. 9. Events of hiB reign: (i.) His war with the 
Scyths — (ii.) Conquest of Assyria — (iii.) Conquest of the tract between 
Media and the river Halys— (iv.) War with Alyattes - (v.) Aid given to 
Nebuchadnezzar. 10. Reign of Astyages —uneventful. 11. His supposed 
identity with "Darius the Mede." 12. Media becomes a Persian satrapy. 
13. Median chronology of Herodotiis — its difficulties. 14. Attempted 
solution Page 401 



1 . Eminence of the Pasargada) — modem parallel. 2. The Maraphians and Mas- 
pians. 3. The Panthialesans, Derusians, and Gkrmanians. 4. The nomade 
tribes — the Dahi mentioned in Scripture — the Mardi, or " heroes " — the 
Dropici, or Derbices — the Sagartii 424 



1. Difficulties of the common view. 2. DuaUsrn and elemental worship two 
different systems. 3. Worship of the elements not the original Persian 
religion. 4. Their most ancient belief pure Dualism. 5. Elemental worship 
the religion of the Magi, who were Scyths. 6. Gradual amalgamation of the 
two religions 426 



1. Obscurity of the subject till a recent date — contradictory accoimts of Berosus 
and Ctesias. 2. The progpress of Cimeiform discovery confirms Berosus. 3. 
The Babylonian date for the great Chaldscan Empire which preceded the 
Assyrian, viz. B.C. 2234, is probably historic. 4. The earliest known kings, 
Urukh and /A/i. 5. Kxtdnr-mnpula the Chedor-laomer of Scripture? 6. Ismi" 
dcujon extended the Chaldeean power over Assyria. 7. Son and grandson of 
Ismi-dagon, 8. Uncertainty of the order of succession among the later names 
— Naram-Sin — Sin-shada, 9. if<^ocfacA-namnna, first " King of Babylon." 10. 
Rim-Sin ond Zur-Sin. 11. Durri-galazu. 12. Puma-puriyits, 13. Khctmmurabi 
said Samshuriluna. 14. Table of kings. Incompleteness of the list. 15. Urukh 
and Ilgi belong probably to the second historical dynasty of Berosus — the 
other kings to the third. 16. Ceneral sketch. Rise of the first Cushite 
dynasty. 17. Cimeiform writing. 18. Nimrod — UhJih — Hgi. 19. Babylon 
conquered by immigrants from Susiana. 20. Second dynasty established by 
Kndiir^mapula, B.C. 1976. 21. Activity of Semitic colonisation at this time. 
PhoDnicians — Hebrews— settlements in Arabia, Assyria, and Syria. 22. Kings 
of the 2nd dynasty — variety in their titles. Condition of Assyria at this 
period. 23. Condition of Susiana. 24. Arabian dynasty of Berosus, b.c. 
1518-1273 — possible trace in the inscriptions. Large Arabian element in the 
population of Mesopotamia 432 


ESSAY vn. 


1. Chronology of the Empire. Views of Ctedas. 2. Opinion of Herodotus. 3. Of 
Beroeua. 4. Probable duration, from b.c. 1273 to b.c. 747. 5. Origin of 
Assyrian independence. 6. Earliest kings — Bel4ush, PudU^ Iva-lush, and Shal- 
fna-6ar. 7. Series of kings from the Tiglath-Pileser Cylinder. 8. Tiglath- 
Pileser I. 9. His son, Asshwr-hani-pal. 10. Break in the line of kings. Later 
monarchs of this dynasty, Axskar-odan-akhi and his descendants. 11. Sarda- 
napalus the conqueror. 12. His palace and temples. 13. Shalmanu-hart the 
Black ObeUsk king. 14. Qeneral view of the state of Asia between b.c. 900 
and B.a 860. 15. Syrian campaigns of Shdlmanurbar, 16. His palace at 
Nineveh. 17. Shamas-iva, 18. Campaigns of 8hama&-iwx. 19. Iva-lush III. 
the Pul of Scripture (?), married to Semiramis. 20. General table of the kings 
of the upper dynasty. 21. Lower dynasty of Assyria — B.C. 747 to B.C. 625. 
22. Reign of Tiglath-Pileser II. 23. Shalmaneser — ^his siege of Samaria. 
24. Sargon — his extensive conquests. 25. His great palace at Elhorsabad. 
26. Beign of Sennacherib — his great palace at Koyunjik. 27. His military 
expeditions. 28. Probable length of his reign. 29. Second expedition of 
Sennacherib into Syria — miraculous destruction of bis army. 30. Senna- 
cherib murdered by his sons. 31. Reign of Esar-haddon. 32. His magni- 
ficent palaces. 33. Asshur-bani-pal IT, — his hunting palace. 34. Asshur- 
emitHli, the Saracus of Berosus, and Sardanapalus of the Greek writer8(?) — his 
character. 35. Fall of Nineveh. 36. Chronological Table of the kings of the 
lower dynasty. 37. Duration and extent of the empire. 38. General nature 
of the dominion. 39. Frequency of disorders — remedies. 40. Assyria the 
best specimen of a kingdom-empire. 41. Peculiar features of the dominion : 
(i.) Religious character of the wars. — (ii.) Incipient centralisation. 42. Cha- 
racter of the civilisation — Literature — Art — Manufactures . . . . Page 451 



1. Subordinate poBition of Babylonia from B.C. 1273 to B.C. 747. 2. Era of 
Nabonassar, B.C. 747 — connexion of Nabonassar with Semiramis. 3. Suc- 
cessors of Nabouassar — Merodach-Baladan conquered by Sargon — Arceanus 
— Merodach-Baladan's second reign — invasion of Sennacherib. 4. Reign of 
Belibus. 5. Of Asshiiriiadin-adin, Regibdlus, and Mesesimordachua— obscure 
period. 6. Esar-haddon assumes the crown of Babylon — his successors, 
Saosduchinus and Ciniladanus. 7. Nabopolassar— his revolt, and alliance 
with Cyaxares. Commencement of the Babylonian empire. 8. Duration of 
the empire — three great monarchs. 9. Nabopolaasar-r-extent of his domi- 
nions. 10. Increase of the population. 11. Chief events of his reign — the 
Lydian war — the Egyptian war. 12. Accession of Nebuchadnezzar — his 
triumphant return from Egypt. 13. His great works. 14. His conquests. 
Final captivity of Judah. Siege and capture of Tyre. ir>. Invasion of Egypt 
and war with Apries. 10. His seven years' lycanthropy. 17. Short reign of 
Evil-Merodach. 18. Reigu of Neriglissar, the ** Kab-Mag." 19. Change in 
the relations of Media and Babylon. 20. Reign of Laborosoarchod. 2 1 . Ac- 
cession of Nabonadius, n.c. 555. — his alliance with Croesus, king of Lydia — 
his defensive works, ascribed to Nitocris. 22. Sequel of the Lydian alliance. 
23. Babylon attacked by Cyrus. 24. Siege and fall of Babylon. 25. Conduct 
iff Belsliazzar duiing the siege — his death. 20. Siureuder and treatment of 
Nabonadius. 27. Revolts of Babylon from Darius. 28. Final decay and 
ruin. Babylonian Chronology 500 


ESSAY rx. 


1. Outline of the Physical Qeography — Contrast of the plain and the highlands. 
2. Division of the plain — ^Syrian or Arabian Desert — Qreat Mesopotamian 
valley. 3. Features of the mountain region — Parallel chains — Salt lakes. 
4. Qreat plateau of Iran. 5. Mountains enclosing the plateau — Zagros — 
Elburz — Southern or coast chain — Hala and Suliman ranges. 6. Low coun- 
tries outside the plateau : (i.) Southern — (ii.) Northern — (iii.) Eastern. 
7. River-system of Western Asia : (i.) Continental rivers — Syhun — Jyhvn— 
Hclmendf &c. — Kur — Aras — Sefid-Rvd — Aji-Su — JagKetu, &c. — Barada — 
Jordan — (ii.) Oceanic rivers — Euphrates — Tigris — their affluents, viz. 
Greater Zab, Lesser Zab, Diyaleh, KerkKuhf and Karun — Lidus — Affluents of 
Indus, Sutlej, Chenab, &c. — Bion — Litany and Orontes. 8. Changes in the 
Physical Geography : (i.) in the low country east of the Caspian — (ii.) in the 
valley of the Indus — (iii.) in Lower Mesopotamia. 9. Political Geography — 
Coimtries of the Mesopotamian plain : (i.) Assjrria — position and boundaries 
— Districts — Adiabdn^, &c. — (ii) Susiana or Elymais — (iii.) Babylonia — 
Position— Districts — Chalds^ &c. — (iv.) Mesopotamia Proper. 10. Coun- 
tries of the mountain region: (i.) Armenia — Divisions — (ii.) Media — (iii.) 
Persia Proper — ^Panetacen^, Mardycn^, &o.— (iv.) Lesser mountain countries 
— Gordisea — Uxia, &c. 11. Countries west of the Mesopotamian plain: (i.) 
Arabia — (ii.) Syria — Divisions — Commagdnd, Ccele-Syria, Palestine — (iii.) 
Phcenicia — Cities. 12. Condusion Page 531 



1. General character of the Mythology. 2. Babylonian and Assyrian Pantheons 
not identical. 3. Thirteen chief deities : (i.) Asahw^ the supreme God of 
Assyria — the Asshur of Genesis — his emblem the winged circle. — (ii.) Amt, 
first God of the First Triad — his resemblance to Dis or Hades — his temples 

— gods connected with him. — (iii.) Bel-Nimrod (?), second God of the Triad 

— his wife, Mylitta or Beltis — his right to the name of Nimrod — his titles, 
temples, &c. — (iv.) Hea, third God of the Triad — his correspondence with 
Neptune — his titles — extent of his worship. — (v.) Bilta (Beltis), the Great 
Goddess — confusion between her and Ishtar — her titles, temples, &c. — (vi.) 
Gods of the Second Triad — Iva (or PhuT) — uncertainty about his name — 
Lord of the sky or air — an old god in Babylonia — his numerical symbol — 
(vii.) Shamas or Sarij the Sun-God — his titles — antiquity of his worship in 
Babylonia — associated with Gvla^ the Sun-Goddess — their emblems on the 
monuments. — (viii.) Sin^ the Moon-God — his titles — his temple at Ur — 
his high rank, at the head of the Second Triad. — (ix.) Nmip or Nin, his various 
titles and emblems — his stellar character doubtful — the Mjeoi-BuII his 
emblem — his name of Bar or Bar'shem — Nm, the Assyrian Hercules — 
his temples — his relationship to Bel-Nimrod — Beltis both his mother and his 
wife — his names BarzH and Sanda. — (x.) Bel-Merodach — his worship ori- 
ginally Babylonian — his temple in Babylon called that of Jupiter-Belus — 
his wife, Zirbamt^ or Suocoth-Benoth.— (xi.) Ntrgal — his titles — his con- 
nexion with Nin — his special worship at Cutha — his symbol, the Man-Lion 

— his temples, &c. — (xiL) Ishtar or Astarte — called Nana at Babylon — 
her worship. — (xiii.) Nebo — his temples — the God of Learning — his name, 
7Vr, &o. 4. Other gods besides the thirteen — Athia, Bel-Zirpu, &c. 5. 
Vast number of local deities 584 




1. Intermixture of races in Western Asia. 2. Earliest population Turanian. 
3. Deyelopment of HamitiBm and Semitism. 4. Indo-European family. 5. 
Turanian races: (L) Fftrthians — (ii.) Asiatic Ethiopians — (iiL) Colchians — 
(iv.) Sapeiri — (v.) Moschi and Tibareni — (vi.) Early Armenians — (vii.) Cap- 
padocians — (viiL) Susianians — (ix.) Chaldaoans — (x.) Nations probably 
Turanian. 6. Semitic races: (L) Cilicians — (ii.) Solymi— (iii.) Lydians not 
Semitic — (iv.) Cappadocians and Himyaritic Arabs not Semitic — (v.). Other 
Semitic races. 7. Division of the Semitic races into groups: (a) Eastern, 
or Assyro-Babylonian group — (6) Westem, or Hebrso-Phconician group — (c) 
Centrd, or Aiubian group. 8. Small extent of Semitism. 9. Late appearance 
of the Lido-Europeans, historically. 10. Spread of the race from Armenia, 
threefold. 11. Northern migration, into Europe. 12. Nations of the Western 
migration: (i.) Pelasgi— (ii.) Phrygians — (iii.) Lydians — (iv.) Carians--(v.) 
Hysians — (vi.) Lycians and Caunians — (vii.) Matienians (?) 13. Eastern, or 
Arian migration. 14. Nations belonging to it: (i.) Persians — (iL) Modes — 
(iii.) Carmanians — (iv.) Bactrians — (v.) Sogdians — (vi.) Arians of Herat — 
(viL) Hyrcanians— (viii.) Sagartians — (ix.) Chorasmians — (x.) Sarangians — 
(zL) Qandarians, &c. 15. Tabular view PSge 643 


Note A. On the various titles of Jupiter— [Q. W.] 680 

Note B. On the Invention of Coining and the earliest specimens of Coined 

Money 683 

( XT> ) 


Bust of Herodotus To face page 1 

Map of Western Asia At the end of the Volume, 



Sepulcliral Chamber in the Barrow of Aljattes 232 

Ground-plan, showing excavations 233 

Plan of ruins at Takhti-Suleiman (the northern Echatana) 241 

The Birs-Nimrud, or great Temple of Borsippa - 242 

Assyrian emblem of the winged circle 270 

Egyptian head-dress 270 

Persian head-dress at Persepolis 271 

Figure of MyUtta, the "Great Goddess" 271 

Median and Persian figures from Persepolis 276 

Chart of the coast about Miletus in ancient times 282 

Chart of the same coast at the present day 283 

Plan of Cnidus and chart of the adjoining coast 284 

Kreme from the palace of Sennacherib 291 

Plan of the Temple of Apollo at Branchid» 295 

Greek warrior with shield 306 

Lydan coin showing the Triquetra 312 

Indian hound from a Babylonian Tablet 330 

Hand-swipe from a slab of Somacherib 332 

Ku&, or wicker boat in use on the Euphrates 334 

Costumes of the Babylonians from the Cylinders 335 

Babylonian Cylinder and seal-impression 336 

Babylonian CofHn and lid 339 

Tomb in Lower Chaldaia 340 

Ditto ditto 341 

Tomb of Cyrus at Murg-Aub 351 

Obverse of on early Lydian coin 686 

Lydian and other coins . . 687 







Impoflsibility of writing a complete life of HerodotuB. HiB time, as determined 
from bis History. Date of his birth, as fixed by ancient writers, b.c. 484. 
His birthplace— HalicamassuB. His parents, Lyxes and Rhooo— their means 
and station. A branch of his family settled in Chios, probably. His educa- 
tion, and acquaintance with Qreek literature. His travels, their extent and 
completeness. Their probable date and starting-point. Circumstanoes of his 
life, according to Snidas and other writers. Political adventuree — ^their truth 
questioned. Raaidflnoe at Samos— doubtful. Removal to Athens. Reoita- 
tion of his woric there. Reward assigned him. Alleged recitations in other 
Gre^ dties. The pretended recitation at Olympia. Thucydides and Hero- 
dotus. Herodotus and Sophocles. Men of note whom Herodotus would 
meet at Athena. Reasons for his leaying it. Colonisation of Thurium. Men 
of note among the early colonists. The History of Herodotus retouched, but 
not originally composed, at Thurium. Some large portions may have been 
written there ; and his History of Assyria. State of Thurium during his 
residence. Time aad place of his death. Herodotus probably unmarried: 
his heir Pleairrhofis. His great work left unfinished at his decease. 

A RECENT writer has truly observed, that to attempt a 
complete or connected life of Herodotus from the in- 
sufficient stock of materials at our disposal, is merely to 
indulge the imagination, and to construct in lieu of 
history "a pleasant form of biographical romance."^ 
The data are so few — they rest upon such late and 
slight authority; they are so improbable or so con- 
tradictory, that to compile them into a biography is like 
building a house of cards, which the first breath of 
criticism will blow to the ground. Still certain points 

> See Colonel Mine's " Critical His- 
tory of the Language and Literature of 
Greece," vol. iv. p. 243. The romance 

VOL. I. B 

has since been written, in two volumes^ 
by Mr. Wheeler. 


Chap. I. 

may be approximately fixed ; and the interest attaching 
to the person of our author is such, that all would feel 
the present work incomplete, if it omitted to bring 
together the few facts which may be gathered, either 
from the writings of Herodotus himself or from other 
authorities of weight, concerning the individual history 
of the man with whose productions we are about to be 
engaged. The subjoined sketch is therefore given, not 
as sufficient to satisfy the curiosity concerning the 
author which the work of Herodotus naturally excites, 
but as preferable to absolute silence upon a subject of so 
much interest. 

The time at which Herodotus lived and wrote may 
be determined within certain limits from his history. 
On the one hand it appears that he conversed with at 
least one person who had been an eye-witness of some of 
the great events of the Persian war ;* on the other, that 
he outlived the commencement of the Peloponnesian 
struggle, and was acquainted with several circumstances 
which happened in the earlier portion of it.^ He must 
therefore have flourished in the fifth century B.C., and 
must have written portions of his history at least as late 
as B.C. 430.* His birth would thus fall naturally into 
the earlier portion of the century, and he would have 

* See Book ix. ch. 16. 

' He mentions the Peloponnesian 
war by name in two places (vii. 137, 
ix. 73), and notices distinctly the fol- 
lowing events in it : — 

1. The attack on Platsea by the 

Thebans, with which it com- 
menced (vii. 233\ 

2. The betrayal of Nicolaus and 

Aneristus, the Spartan ambas- 
sadors, and of Aristens, the Co- 
rinthian, into the hands of the 
Athenians by Sitalces(vii.l37). 

3. The ravaging of Attica by the 

Feloponnesians in one of the 

earlier years of the war (ix. 73). 

He may also covertly allude to the 

war in the following places : v. 93, 

and vi. 98. 

* Herodotus mentions one or two 
events the probable date of which is 
about B.G. 425, as the desertion of 
Zopyrus, son of Megabyzus, to the 
Athenians (iv. 160); and a cruel 
deed committed by Amestris in her 
old age (vii. 114). He also speaks 
in one place (vi. 98^ of the reign of 
Artaxerxes, who diea B.o. 425, ap- 
parently as if it was over. He may 
therefore have given touches to his 
history as late as b.o. 424. The pas- 
sages which have been imagined to 
point to a still later date (i. 130, iii. 
15, and ix. 73) have been misunder- 
stood or misapplied. Their true 
meaning is considered in the foot- 
notes upon them. 

Chap. I. 



belonged to the generation which came next in suc- 
cession to that of the conquerors of Salamis.* 

These conclusions, drawn from the writings of Hero- 
dotus himself, are in close accordance with those more 
minute and definite statements which the earliest and 
best authorities make with regard to the exact time at 
which he was bom. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, who as 
an antiquarian of great research and a fellow-country- 
man of our author, is entitled to be heard with special 
attention on such a point, tells us that his birth took 
place " a little before the Persian war." • Pamphila, the 
only ancient writer who ventures to fix the exact year 
of his nativity, confirms Dionysius, and makes a state- 
ment from which it would appear that the birth of Hero- 
dotus preceded the invasion of Xerxes by four years.* 
The value of this testimony has been called in question, 
but even those who do not regard it as authoritative 
admit, that it may well be adopted as in harmony with 
all that is known upon the subject, and " at least a* near 
approximation to the truth." ® It may be concluded 
therefore that Herodotus was born in or about the year 
B.C. 484. 

Concerning the birth-place of the historian no rea- 

* Many incidental notices confirm 
this. Herodotus conversed in Sparta 
with a certain Archias, a grandson of 
an Archias who fell in Samos about 
B.C. 525 (iii. 55). He was also 
acquainted with a steward of Aria- 
pcithes, the Scythian king, who was 
a contemporary of Sitalces, the ally 
of Athens in the year B.C. 430. He 
travelled in Egypt later than B.C. 462 
(iii. 12). 

• Judicium de Thucyd. (c. 5, vol. 
vi. p. 820). The words used are — 
*Hp6^€Tos y€v6fj,€vo9 6\iy<j^ irp&rtpov 

' Ap. Aul. Gell. Noct. Attic, xv. 
23. " Hellanicus initio belli Pelo- 
ponnesiaci fuisse quinquc et sexaginta 
annos natus videtur ; Herodotus trca 
et quinqttaginta ; Thucydidcs quadra- 

ginta." (See Miiller, Fragm. Hist. 
Gr. vol. iii. p. 521.) 

* See Mure, p. 254. Pamphila 
seems spoken of somewhat too slight- 
ingly when she is called " an obscure 
female writer of the Roman period." 
The frequent quotation of her writ- 
ings by Aulus Gellius and Diogenes 
Laertius is a proof that she was far 
from obscure. Photius, too, whose 
extensive reading adds a value to liis 
criticism, speaks favourably of her 
work, and especially as containing 
" several necessary points of historical 
information." {rav laropiK&v ovk 
6\iya dvayKoia, Bibl. Cod. 175, p. 
389.) That Pamphila was a careful 
and laborious student of history seems 
certain from her having made an 
Epitome of Ctcsias (sec Suidas). 



Bonable doubt has ever been entertained either in 
ancient or modern times. The Pseudo-Plutarch indeed, 
in the tract wherein he has raked together every charge 
that malice and folly combined could contrive against 
our author, intimates a suspicion that he had falsely 
claimed the honour of having Halicarnassus for his 
birth-place,* But Plutarch himself is a witness against 
the writer who has filched his name/ and his testimony 
is confirmed by Dionysius,^ by Strabo,^ by Lucian,* and 
by Suidas.* The testimony of Herodotus, which would 
of itself be conclusive were it certain, is rendered 
doubtful by the quotation of Aristotle, which substitutes 
at the commencement of the history the word " Thurian '* 
for " Halicamassian."* Apart, however, from this, the 
all but universal testimony of ancient writers, the har- 
mony of their witness with the attention given to 
Halicarnassus and its afiairs in the history, and the 
epitaph which appears to have been engraved upon 
the historian's tomb at Thurium,' form a body of proof 
the weight of which is irresistible. 

Of the parents and family of Herodotus but little can 
be said to be known. We are here reduced almost 
entirely to the authority of Suidas, a learned but not 
very careful compiler of the eleventh century, to whose 
unconfirmed assertions the least possible weight must 
be considered to attach. He tells us in the brief sketch 
which he has left of our author, that he was bom of 
"illustrious" parents® in the city of Halicarnassus, his 

• De Malign. Herod, vol. ii. p. 
868 A. The writers who^ like Dnris 
(Fr. 57), and the Emperor Julian (ap. 
Suid.), simply call Herodotus **a 
Thurian/* need not mean to question 
his Halicamassian origin. 

* De Exilio, ii. p. 604 f. 

■ Jud. de ITiucyd. 1. s. c. 

■ xiv. p. 939. * Vol. iv. p. 116. 

Khet. iii. p. See note ^ to Book i. 

■' The epitaph, which is given both 
by Stephen (ad voc. Qovpios) and by 
the Scholiast on Aristophanes (Nub, 
331), did not indeed mention Hali- 
carnassus, but implied it by speaking 
of the historian as "sprung from a 
Dorian land " — AtopUav frarpris pXaa^ 
T6vr* arro, 

* *llp6doros, Av^ov Kal Apvovs^ 

* S. v. *Hp6doros, ' AXiKapvaaa-fifs, r £>v €iri<bav&¥y 

Kai dif\<f)6v fo-xfjicais Qf66c»pov, Sui- 

ch. i. I das ad voc. *Hpddoro£. 


father's name being Lyxes, and his mother s, Dryo, or 
Bhoeo ;• that he had a brother Theodore ; and that he 
was cousin or nephew of Panyasis, the epic poet. To 
the last of these statements very little credit is due, 
since Suidas confesses that his authorities were not 
agreed through which of the parents of Herodotus the 
connexion was to be traced,* and the temptation to 
create such a relationship must have been great to the 
writers of fictitious letters and biographies imder the 
empire. But the name of his father is confirmed by the 
epitaph preserved in Stephen,^ and the station of his 
parents by the indioations of wealth which the high 
education of our author, and his abundant means for 
frequent and distant travel, manifestly furnish. The 
other statements of Suidas acquire, by their connexion 
with these, some degree of credibility ; and th6 very 
obscurity and unimportance of the names may induce us 
to accept them as real, since no motive can be assigned 
for their invention. Herodotus may therefore be re- 
garded as the son of Lyxes and Rhceo,^ persons of good 
means and station in the city of Halicarnassus. That he 
had a brother Theodore is also probable. 

It has been thought that Herodotus must have had 
relations of rank and importance settled in the island of 
Chios.* In speaking of an embassy sent by a portion of 
the Chians to the Greeks about the time of the battle of 

* See Suidas ad voc. Uavvatris, 

* Some said that the father of 
Panyasis, whom they called Poly- 
archus, was brother to Lyxes, the 
father of Herodotus ; others that 
lihceo, our author's mother, was the 
epic poet's sister. (Suid. I. s. c.) 

* llie epitaph, which Brunck has 
placed in the third volume of his 
Aiialccta (Epig. 533, p. 263), consists 
of four lines of elegiac verse, and runs 
as follows :-~ 

'It seems certain that the double 
form of the name arises from a corrup- 
tion of the text of Suidas. Bahr 
(Comment, de Vita et Scriptis Herod. 
§ 2) proposes to regard the form Drj-o 
as the true one. But since Dryo is 
an unknown name, whereas Rhopo be- 
longed certainly to the mythic history 
of tiie neighbourhood (see Apoll. Khod. 
ap. Parthen. Erot. c. 1), the latter 
has clearly the better claim to be pre- 

* Col. Mure accidentally says 
" Samos " for Chios, and speaks of 

' HpoSoroy Avfcw Kp/varn kovxs rfit Ba.v6vra, 
'lo&K apxaiffi IcmtfMf^ vpvrayiv' 

MitfUiP vir<Kirfio^>vyi»y Bovpuiv i<r\€ narptiv. ' hdtnUXil (VOl. IV. p. Zooj. 

A.^^r^0C^'XirX«p'i'rAnTx,.. i Hcrodotus thc SOU of Basilcidcs as a 


Chap. I. 

Salamis, lie mentions, without any apparent necessity, 
and with special emphasis, a single name — that of a 
certain " Herodotus, the son of Basileides."* This man, 
it is supposed, must have been a relative, whom family 
affection or family pride induced the historian to com- 
memorate ; and if so, it is certain from his position as 
one of the chiefs of a conspiracy, and afterwards as 
ambassador from his countrymen, that he must have 
been a personage of distinction — a conclusion which is 
confirmed by the way in which Herodotus introduces 
his name, as if he were previously not unknown to his 
readers.* * 

This is a point, however, of minor consequence, since 
it is not needed to prove what is really important — ^the 
wealth and consideration of the family to which our 
author belonged. 

The education of Herodotus is to be judged of from 
his work. No particulars of it have come down to us. 
Indeed, the whole subject of Greek education before the 
first appearance of the Sophists is involved in a good 
deal of obscurity. That the three standard branches of 
instruction recognised among the Athenians of the time 
of Socrates — grammar, gymnastic training, and music — 
were regarded throughout all Greece, and from a very 
early date, as the essential elements of a liberal education 
is likely enough ;* but it can scarcely be said to have 
been demonstrated. Herodotus, it may, however, be 

» Horod. viii. 132. . 

* T&¥ fcol 'Hp6doTO£ 6 Ba(rcXi;c8ctt 
^v. When a new character is intro- 
dnoed, and Herodotus does not con- 
sider him already known, ho commonly 
omits the article. (See vi. 127, where 
none of the suitors of Agarista have 
the article except Megacles, the son of 

' Some writers have maintained 
that in Dorian states the first branch 
(ypafifwra) was wholly, or almost 
wholly, omitted (Miiller, Dorians, 

vol. ii. p. 328, E. T. ; Grote's Hist 
of Greece, vol. ii. p. 626). But 
Colonel Mure has shown that this im- 
putation is unfounded (Remarks on 
two Appendices to Grote's History, 
p. 1 et se<}q.). The three branches 
are recognised by Ephorus as obtain- 
ing from an early time in Crete (Fr. 
64, Muller, vol. i. p. 251), and Plato 
seems to regard them as universally 
agreed upon (Alcib. i. p. 106 s ; 
Amat. p. 132 ; Theag. p. 122 ; Protag. 
pp. 25 b and 26 a.b). 

Chap. L 


supposed, followed the course cx)mmon in later times — 
attended the grammarHSchool, where he learnt to read 
and write, frequented the palaestra where he went 
through the exercises, and received instruction from the 
professional harper or flute-player, who conveyed to him 
the rudiments of music. But these things formed a 
very slight part of that education, which was necessary 
to place a Greek of the upper ranks on a level, intel- 
lectually, with those who in Athens and elsewhere gave 
the tone to society, and were- regarded as finished gen- 
tlemen. A knowledge of literature, and especially of 
poetry — above all an intimate acquaintance with the 
dassic writings of Homer, was the one great requisite ; ® 
to which might be added a familiarity with philosophical 
systems, and a certain amoimt of rhetorical dexterity. 
Herodotus, as his writings show, was most thoroughly 
accomplished in the first and most important of these 
three things. He has drunk at the Homeric cistern till 
his whole being is impregnated with the influence thence 
derived. In the scheme and plan of his work, in the 
arrangement and order of its parts, in the tone and cha* 
racter of the thoughts, in ten thousand little expressions 
and words, the Homeric student appears;* and it is 
manifest that the two great poems of ancient Greece are 
at least as familiar to him as Shakspeare to the modem 
educated Englishman. Nor has this intimate know- 
ledge been gained by the sacrifice of other reading. 
There is scarcely a poet of any eminence anterior to his 
day with whose works he has not shown himself ac- 
quainted. Hesiod, Olen, Musaeus, Archilochus, the 
authors of the Cypria and the Epigoni, Alcaeus, Sappho, 
Solon, jEsop, Aristeas, Simonides of Ceos, Phrynichus, 

' See Flat. Bep. Books ii. and iii., 
Protag. 1. 8. c 

• See Jager. Disp. Herod, p. 5; 
B'ahr, De Via et Script. Herod. § 3 ; 
Mure, vol. iv. pp. 515-6, and espe- 

cially the valuable collection of pas- 
sages in his Appendix, pp. 551-2. 
D^lmann has, curiously enough, 
omitted this point. 


Chap. I. 

-^schylus, Pindar/ are quoted, or referred to, in sucli a 
way as to indicate that he possessed a close acquaintance 
with their writings. Prose composition had but com- 
menced a very short time before the date of his history.^ 
Yet even here we find an acquaintance indicated with a 
niunber of writers, seldom distinctly named, but the 
contents of whose works are well known and familiarly 
dealt with.^ HecatsDus especially, who must be con- 
sidered as his special predecessor in the literary com- 
monwealth, is quoted openly, or tacitly glanced at in 
several passages;* and it may be questioned whether 
there was a single work of importance in the whole 
range of Greek literature accessible to him, with the 
contents of which he was not fairly acquainted. 

Such an amount of literary knowledge implies a 
prolonged and careful self-education, and is the more 
remarkable in the case of one whose active and inquisi- 
tive turn of mind seems to have led him at an early 
age to engage in travels, the extent of which, combined 
with their leisurely character, clearly shows that a long 
term of years must have been so occupied. The quantum 
of travel has indeed been generally exaggerated,* but 


* Hesiod, ii. 53, iv. 32 ; Glen, iv. 
35 ; Musseus, vii. 6, viii. 96, ix. 43 ; 
Archilochus, 1. 12 ; the author of the 
Cypria, ii. 117 (compare i. 155) ; of 
the Epigpni, iv. 32 ; Alcaeiis, v. 95 ; 
Sappho, ii. 135 ; Solon, v. 113 ; ^sop, 
ii. 134; Aristeas, iv. 13 ; Simonides, 
V. 102, vii. 228 ; Phrynichua, vi. 21 ; 
^schylus, ii. 156; Pindar, iii. 38. 
Note also the quotations from less 
well-known poets, as Bacis, viii. 20, 
77, 96, ix, 43, and Lysistratus, viii. 
96. With regard to the passages 
supposed to be plagiarisms from So- 
phocles (i. 32, ii. 35, and iii. 119), 
see notes ad loc» The only poets of 
eminence anterior to his time, with 
whom Herodotus does not show any 
acquaintance, are Callinus of Ephesus, 
Tyrtaeus, Simonides of Amorgus, Ste- 
sichorus, Epimenides, and Epichar- 
mus. He notices Anacreon (iii. 121) 

and Lasus of Hermion^ (vii. 6), but 
without any mention of their writ- 
ings. Expressions like that at the 
beginning of vi. 52 (Acuccdoifictyioi 
6fi6koy€ovT€s ov^€vl TToiijrJ) in- 
dicate the confidence which he feels 
in his complete acquaintance at least 
with all the cyclic and genealogical 
poets. (Compare ii. 53 and 120.) 

■ With Pherecydes of Syros (ab. 
B.C. 550), according to the common 
tradition ; but at any rate not earlier 
than the beginning of the sixth cen- 
tury. (See Mure, vol, iv. p. 51.) 

" See the following passages: — ii. 
15, 16, 20, 22, and vi. 55. 

* Openly, ii. 143, and vi. 137 ; 
tacitly, ii. 21, 23, and iv. 36. 

^ It is no doubt difiBcult to draw a 
distinct line between the manner of 
speaking which shows Herodotus to 
have seen what he describes, and that 

Chap. I. 


after every deduction is made that judicious criticism 
suggests as proper, there still remains, in the distance 
between the extreme limits reached, and in the fulness 
of the information gained, unmistakeable evidence of a 
vast amount of time spent in the occupation. Herodotus 
undoubtedly visited Babylon,* Ardericca near Susa,* 
the remoter parts of Egypt,^ Scythia,^ Colchis,^^ Thrace," 
Cyrene," Zante,*^ Dodona,^* and Magna Graecia ;" — thus 
covering with his travels a space of thirty-one degrees 
of longitude (above 1700 miles) from east to west, and 
of twenty-four of latitude (1660 miles) from north to 
south. Within these limits moreover his knowledge 
is for the most part close and accurate. He has not 
merely paid a hasty visit to the countries, but has 
examined them leisurely, and is familiar with their 
scenery, their cities small and large, their various won- 
ders, their temples and other buildings, and with the 
manners and customs of their inhabitants. The fulness 
and minuteness of his information is even more remark- 
able than its wide range, though it has attracted less 
observation. In Egypt, for instance, he has not con- 
tented himself with a single voyage up and down the 
Nile, like the modern tourist, but has evidently passed 
months, if not years, in examining the various objects 

which merely iudicates that he had 
heard what he relates from professed 
eve-witnesses. Most writers on the 
subject have accepted as proof of the 
presence of Herodotus on the spot a 
mention of anything as "continuing 
to his time." Hence it has been sup- 
posed that he visited Camicus in 
Sicily (Dahlmann, p. 40, E. T. ; 
Heyse de Herod. Vit. et Itin. p. 139 ; 
Baiir, vol. iv. p. 397) ; and by some 
that he reachea Bactria (Mure, iv. p. 
247; Jiiger. Disput. Herod, p. 20). 
But the expression relied on does not 
in itself imply presence, and no writer 
has ventured to regard it in this light 
in every place where it occurs. It 
has never been supposed, for instance, 
that Herodotus reached the banks of 

the Oarus, and saw the forts, said to 
have been erected by Darius, " whose 
ruins were still remaining in his day " 
(iv. 124). Something more then is 
recjuired than this expression. I have 
regarded as necessary to prove pre- 
sence either a distinct assertion to 
that effect, or the mention of somo 
little point, which only an eye-witness 
would have noticed, and which one 
who received the account from an 
eye-witness would, even if told, not 
bo likely to liave remembered, — as the 
position of Ladic^s statue in the 
temple of Venus at Cvrfin^ (ii. 181). 

•» i. 181-3. ^ vi. il9. ^ ii. 29. 

» iv. 81. »° ii. 104. " iv. 90. 

" ii. 181. »* iv. 195. " ii. 52. 

'* iv. 15, V. 45. 



Chap. L 

of interest He has personally inspected, besides the 
great capital cities of Thebes, Memphis, and Heliopolis, 
where his materials for the history of Egypt were 
chiefly collected,^ the comparatively unimportant towns 
of Sais,* Bubastis,* Buto,* Papremis,* Chemmis,' Croco- 
dilopolis,* and Elephantine/ He has explored the 
lake Moeris,* the labyrinth/® the line of the canal 
leading into the Arabian gulf from the Nile," the 
borders of Egypt towards the Sinaitic desert,^" and 
portions of the tract, which he calls Arabia, between the 
valley of the Nile and the Arabian Gulf or Red Sea." 
He is completely famihar with the various branches into 
which the Nile divides before reaching the sea," and 
with the course followed by the traveller at different 
seasons/** He knows intimately the entire broad region 
of the Delta,^' as well as the extreme limits of Egypt 
beyond it, both eastward ^* and westward." Again, in 
Asia Minor, his native country, he knows well, besides 
Caria,^* where he was bom, Lydia, with its rich plains^ 
and great capital city, Sardis ;^^ Mysia,^* the Troas,^ the 
cities upon the Hellespont,^* Proconnesus," Cyzicus,^' the 
mouth of the Thracian Bosphorus,*^ the north coast ;** 
and again, on the south, Cilicia, with its two regions, the 
flat,^andthe mountainous;^® Lycia,^^ Caunus,** Ephesus,^ 
the mouths of the Maeander, Scamander, and Caystrus 
rivers,^ and something of the interior, at least along the 
line of the royal road from Sardis to Susa," which he 

" ii. 3. ■ ii. 28, 130, 169, &c. 

» ii. 137. * ii. 75, 156. 

» iii. 12. • ii. 91. ' ii. 148. 

• ii. 29. • ii. 149. >• ii. 148. 

" u. 158, 159. " iii. 5, 12. 

" ii. 75 ; oomp. 8 and 12. 

»* ii. 17. »* ii. 97. 

»• ii. 5, 15, 92-98, &o. 

•^ ii. 6, iii, 5. » ii. 6, 18. 

»• i. 171, 172, 174, 175, &c. 

«• i. 80. « i. 80, 84, 93, &c. 

" vii. 42. • ii. 10, vii. 43. 

•* i. 67. » iv. 14. " Ibid. 

"^ iv. 86. 

» Ibid. Comp. i. 76, ii. 104, &c. 
On his visit to Colchis, Herodotus 
would neoessarily pass along the 
whole of this coast. He appears to 
have gone ashore occasionally — at the 
mouth of the Parthenius, ii. 104 ; at 
Themiscyra, iv. 86. 

■ vi. 95. •• ii. 34. •> i. 176. 

* i. 172. » i. 92, ii. 10, &c. 

^ ii. 10. 

" The description of the route (v. 
52) appears to me that of an eye-wit« 
ncss. If Herodotus visited Babylon, 
which I regard as certain, he would 



most probably followed in his journey to and from 
Babylon. In Greece Proper he has visited, besides the 
great cities of Athens/ Sparta,* and Thebes,^ the sanc- 
tuaries at Delphi,* Dod6na,* and Abae in Phocis ;• the 
battle-fields of Thermopylae,^ Plataea,® and Marathon ;• 
Arcadia,*® Elis," Argolis,** the promontory of Tsenarum,*^ 
the isthmus of Corinth,** the pass of Tempe,** Creston in 
Chalcidice,*' Byzantiimi," Athos,*^ and (apparently) the 
entire route followed by the army of Xerxes on its 
march from Sestos to Athens." In the Levant he has 
evidently made himself acquainted with almost all the 
more important islands. With Samos he is completely 
familiar,'® and he has visited besides, Rhodes,** Cyprus,^ 
Delos,® Paros,^ Thasos,** Samothrace,*® and probably 
Crete,^ Cythera,^ and jEgina.*® Elsewhere his travels 
have, no doubt, less of this character of completeness. 
He knows little more of Scythia than its coast between 
the mouths of the Danube and Dnieper ; he has not 
penetrated very far into Thrace; his knowledge of 
Syria and Phoenicia may have been gained from once 
or twice coasting along their shores ;^ east of the Halys 
his observations are confined to a single route ; in 
Africa, setting aside Egypt, he shows no personal ac- 
quaintance with any place but Gyrene; and west of 

naturally follow it as far as the cross- 
road which led fVom Agbatana to that 
city, issuing undoubtedly from Mount 
Zagros by the pass of Hoi wan. ITie 
Greeks of his time sometimes reached 
Babylon by crossing from the Medi- 
terranean to the Euphrates, and then 
descending the river in a boat (i. 185), 
but Herodotus does not appear to have 
taken this route. 

» V. 77. « iii. 65. • i. 52. 

• i. 14, 19, 25, 50, &c. * ii. 52. 

• viii. 27. 

7 viii. 198-200, 218, 225, &c. 
» ix. 15, 19, 25, 51, &c. 

• vi. 102, 111, 112. 
»• i. 66, vi. 74, 127. 

" iv. 30, vii. 170. " vi. 77. 

»^ i. 24. " viii. 121. »* vii. 129. 

>• i. 57. »' iv. 87. » vii. 22. 

^ This appears from the manner of 
his descriptions, as well as from their 
general fidelity. It has been j)er- 
ceived by almost all the commen- 
tators (Bahr, iv. p. 396 ; Dahlmann, 
p. 43 ; Mure, iv. p. 246, &c.). 

«» ii. 182, iii. 47, 54, 60, 142, iv. 
88, 152, vi. 14, &c. 

" ii. 182, iii. 47. " v. 114. 

» ii. 170, vi. 98. •» vi. 134. 

» ii. 44. » ii. 51. "^ iii. 59. 

« i. 105. ■ V. 83, 88. 

^ Landing of course from time to 
time, as at Tyre (ii. 44), at the Nahr 
el Kelb (ii. 106), and perhai)s at 
Gaza or Cadytis (iii. 5). 



Chap. I. 

Greece, he can only be proved to have visited the cities 
of Crotona, Thurii, and Metapontum.^ 

It is not possible to determine absolutely the ques- 
tions, which have been mooted, concerning the time 
when, and the centre, or centres, from which these 
travels were undertaken. An opinion, however, has 
been already expressed that they were commenced at 
an early age. The vigour and freshness of youth is the 
time when travel is best enjoyed and most easily 
accomplished ; and the only hints derivable from Hero- 
dotus himself concerniiig the date of any of his journeys, 
are in accordance with the notion, that at least the 
more distant and important of them belong to his 
earlier rather than his later years. If anything is cer- 
tain with respect to the events of our author's career, it 
is that his home during the first half of his life was in 
Asia Minor, during the last in Magna Graecia. Now 
the slightest glance at the map will show that the 
former place, and not the latter, Halicarnassus (or pos- 
sibly Samos), and not Thurium, is the natural centre 
whence his various lines of travel radiate. One of the 
most curious facts patent upon the face of his history is 
the absence of any personal acquaintance, or indeed of 
any exact knowledge, of upper Italy, Sardinia, Sicily, 
Carthage — the countries most accessible to a traveller 
whose starting-point was Thurium. It seems as if, on 
taking up his residence at that town in about his fortieth 
year, the enterprising traveller had subsided into the 

* Heyse is the writer who has ex- 
aj^gerated most grossly the extent of 
our author's travels. He regards him 
as having visited not only Agbatana 
(which is a common opinion), but 
Acamania and iEtolia, the Illyrian 
ApoUonia, the Veneti, Thera, Siph- 
nus, Eulxpa, Sicyon, and most i>arts 
of Sicily (see his inaugural disserta- 
tion * De Herodoti Vita et Itineribus/ 
Berlin, 1827). The grounds which 

he deems sufficient are often absurdly 
slight. Bahr adopts Heyse's views, 
except where they are most extrava- 
gant (vol. iv. pp. 391-7). Dahlmann 
IS somewhat more moderate. Col. 
Mure's summary (vol. iv. pp. 246-8) 
is judicious, though scanty. The 
only points in it from which I should 
dissent, are the statements that Hero- 
dotus " penetrated to Ecbatana," and 
** possibly to jiarts of Bactria" (p. 247). 

Chap. L 



quiet student and recluse writer.* To descend to par- 
ticulars, it is clear that his visit to Egypt,^ with which 
some of his other journeys are necessarily connected,* 
took place after the revolt of Inarus (b.c. 460) ; for he 
states, that he saw the skulls of those who were slain in 
the great battle of Papremis by which Inarus established 
himself ; * and yet it could not have been long after, or 
he would scarcely have been received with so much 
cordiality and allowed such free access to the Egyptian 
temples and records. There is every reason to conclude 
that his visit fell within the period — six years, from B.C. 
460 to B.C. 455, inclusively — during which the Athenian 
armies were in possession of the country ,• when grati- 
tude to their deliverers would have led the Egyptians 
to receive any Greek who visited them with open arms, 
and to treat him with a friendliness and familiarity very 
unlike their ordinary jealousy of foreigners. His Egyp- 
tian travels would thus fall between his twenty-fourth 
and his twenty-ninth year, occupying perhaps nearly the 
whole of that period ; while his journeys to Tyre and 
Thasos would follow shortly after. A single touch in 
the Scythian researches indicates a period but little re- 
moved from this, for the visit of our author to Scythia. 
He speaks of having gathered certain facts from the 
mouth of Timnes, " the steward of Ariapeithes." ^ This 
expression indicates that Ariapeithes was then living. 
But if Ariapeithes immediately succeeded Idanthyrsus, 
as is probable,^ he can scarcely have outlived B.C. 450, 

' It is not meant that he did not 
write before this time, or travel after 
it, but that after he came to Thuriiim 
he travelled very little, probably only 
in Magna Grsecia, and once to Athens, 
occupying himself almost entirely in 

■ Col. Mure supposes (vol. iv. p. 
247) that he may have visited Egypt 
repeatedly, but of this there is no 
trace in the History. Rather the per- 
petual use of the aorist tense (cX^a>i/ — 

€Tpcm6fiTjVy ii. 3 ; lBo>v, ii. 12 ; cdu- 
vdaBrjv — €y€v6fir}Vfn.ld ; €\Ba)P, ii. 29 ; 
et j)assim) gives the contrary impres- 

* Those to Tyre and Tliasos, which 
ho undertook in order to investigate 
the age of Hercules (ii. 44). 

* iii. 12. 

« ITiucyd. i. 109 : iKparovv t^j 
AiyvTTTov ' AOrjvaioi, 
^ iv. 76. 
® See note to Book iv. ch.-80. 



Chap. I. 

sixty years at least from the accession of his predecessor. 
Probably therefore Herodotus was in Scythia before 
that date. 

We may now consider briefly the few facts which 
have come down to us, on better or worse authority, 
with regard to the vicissitudes of our author's life. 
Suidas relates/ that he was forced to fly from Hali- 
camassus to Samos by the tyranny of Lygdamis, the 
grandson of Artemisia, who had put his imcle (or 
cousin) Panyasis, to death ; that in Samos he adopted 
the Ionic dialect, and wrote his history ; that after a 
time he returned and took the lead in an insurrec- 
tion whereby Halicamassus obtained her freedom, and 
Lygdamis w^s driven out ; that then, finding himself 
disliked by the other citizens, he quitted his country, 
and joined in the Athenian colonisation of Thurium, at 
which place he died and was buried. Of these state- 
ments the only ones confirmed by other writers are the 
removal of our author to Thurium at the time of its first 
settlement or soon afterwards, and his death and burial 
at the same place. The former is a point on which all 
are fully agreed ;* but the latter is much controverted.^ 

With regard to the political episode, which, if true, 
would be the most notable adventure in our author's 
whole career, the slender authority of Suidas cannot be 
held to establish it against the absolute silence on so 
remarkable a matter of all former writers. Undoubtedly 
it may be true, but this is the utmost that can be said in 
its favour. Probability leans decidedly the other way. 
If Herodotus had been a tyrannicide, it is very unlikely 
that no orator or panegyrist should ever have noticed 
the fact. If he had lived on terms of such deadly 
hostility with the royal family of his native town, it is 
scarcely to be imagined that he would have expressed 

• Sub voc. 'Hp<$doror. 
» See Strab. xiv. p. 939 ; Plut. dc 
Exil. II. p. 604 P. ; Steph. Byz. arl 

voc. Qovpioi ; Plin. H. N. xii. 4 ; 
Schdl. Aristoph. Nub. 331. 
• Vide inf A, p. 23. 

Chap. L 



himself quite so warmly* towards the chief glory of that 
family, Artemisia. The tale seems blunderingly con- 
trived to account for certain circumstances connected 
with our author which were thought to require explana- 
tion, namely, why he wrote in the Ionic dialect ; why 
he treated at such disproportionate length of the aflFairs 
of Samos ; * why he spoke so strongly on the advantages 
of constitutionsd over despotic government ; * and why 
he quitted his native land and retired to Thurium. 
The foundation for the tale was found in the last line of 
his epitaph, and, possibly, in the facts of Halicamassian 
history ; but the epitaph was misconstrued, and the his- 
tory garbled by the intrusion into it without warrant of 
our author's name. We may gather from the epitaph, 
which may well be received as genuine, that no poKtical 
motive caused his retirement from Halicamassus, but 
that he fled from ndicule • — ^ridicule drawn down, it may 
be conjectured, by the over-credulous tone of his history, 
which would httle suit the rising generation of shrewd 
and practical free-thinkers. The transfer of residence 
to Samos is most likely a fiction. It is not required to 
account for his adoption of the Ionic dialect, since that 
was the form of language already consecrated to prose 
composition,^ and if he wrote at all he could not fail to 
use the character of speech which the prose writers of 
his day had one and all preferred as best adapted to 
their branch of Kterature. Neither is it implied in any- 
thing which he himself says of the island, for his 
acquaintance with its buildings and localities is not 
greater than might have been acquired by one or two 

* See especially Book vii. ch. 99, 
and Book viii. chs. 87 and 101. 

* Book iii. chs. 39-59, 120-128, 

* V. 66, 78. 

* Mttftoff (which is the word used 
in the epitaph) is not mere " ill-will," 
*' dislike," or ** envy," but distinctly 

** ridicule." It is a rare word in the 
early writers, and would not have 
been used where /xc/x^tr suited the 
verse equally well, unless intended in 
its peculiar signification. 

^ Sec Mure s Literature of Greece, 
vol. iv. p. 114. 



Chap. T. 

leisurely visits, and the length at which he treats the 
history may be accounted for on moral gromids.® 

Herodotus * probably continued to reside at Hali- 
carnassus, taking long journeys for the purpose of his- 
torical and geographical inquiry, till towards the year 
B,o, 447, when, being about thirty-seven years of age, 
and having brought his work to a certain degree of 
completeness, though one far short of that which it 
reached finally, he removed to Greece Proper, and took 
up his abode at Athens. Halicarnassus, it would ap- 
pear, had shortly before cast off her tyrants and joined 
the Athenian confederacy,* so that the young author 
would be welcomed for his country's sake no less than 
for his own, Athens had just begun to decline from 
the zenith of her prosperity. After having been for ten 
years sole mistress of central Greece from the isthmus 
of Corinth to the borders of Thessaly, she had, not 
without certain preliminary disasters, received at Co- 
ronea a blow, which at once reduced her to her former 
limits, and threatened to have yet more serious conse- 
quences. The year B.C. 446 was one of gloom and sad ex- 
pectation. Revolt threatened from various quarters, and 
in the ensuing spring the five years' truce would expire, 
and a Peloponnesian invasion might be expected. It 
was in this year, if we may believe Eusebius,^ that a 
decree passed the Athenian assembly, whereby a reward 
was assigned to Herodotus on account of his great his- 
torical work, which he had read publicly to the Athe- 
nians.^ The Pseudo-Plutarch,^ though himself dis- 
crediting the story, adds some further particulars, which 

• Vide infra, page 99. 

" See Dahlmann's Life of Herodo- 
tus, oh. i. § 3. We are not obliged to 
reject either the fact or the date of 
Lygdainis*8 overthrow, because we 
question the part assigned to Hero- 
dotus in the transaction. 

' Chron. Can. Pars n. p. 339 ; 01. 

■ The reading may have been, as 
Scaliger (ad Euseb.) suggested, a 
single sustained recitation at the great 
Panathenaic festival, but I should 
rather suppose a series of more pri- 
vate exhibitions. 

• De Malign. Herod, n. p. 862 a. 


he quotes from Dyillus, an Athenian historian of good 
repute towards the end of the fourth century B.C. This 
writer declared that the decree on the occasion was 
moved by Anytus, and that the sum voted as a gift 
was ten talents (above 2,400/.). 

According to the common report, it was not at 
Athens alone that Herodotus made his work known by 
recitation. He is represented by some writers as a 
sort of prose rhapsodist travelling from place to place, 
and offering to each state at a price a niche in the 
temple of Fame, The Pseudo-Plutarch brings him to 
Thebes,* and Dio Chrysostom to Corinth,* in this 
capacity ; but the latter tale is apparently unknown to 
the great collector of slanders. It is scarcely necessary 
to observe that these calumnious fictions, invented by 
those whose self-love was wounded by our author's 
candour, deserve no maimer of credit. It is certainly 
not impossible that Herodotus may have recited his 
work at other places besides Athens ; but there is no 
evidence that he did so. His work was not one to gain 
him reward or good-will generally, and Thebes, a place 
fixed upon by the Pseudo-Plutarch, was one of the last 
where he could expect to be received with favour. 

In addition to these tales there has come down to us 
a circumstantial account of another, and more important, 
recital, which Herodotus is supposed to have made 
before collected Greece at the great Olympian festival. 
This story, which has attracted more attention than it 
merits, rests upon the two low authorities of Lucian and 
Suidas.* It is full of inconsistencies and improbabili- 

* De Malign. Herod, ii. p. 864 d. 

* Orat. xxxvii. p. 456. Marcellinus 
(Vit. Thucyd. p. x.) has evidently 
heard the same story. 

* Lucian, who lived six centuries 
after Herodotus, and is the first writer 
that mentions the Olympian recita- 
tion, was a freethiuking rhetorician 
and philosopher, very ignorant of his- 

tory, and quite alx)ve feeling any 
scrui)le about perverting or inventing 
it. Hia disregard of truth has l>een 
copiously exhibited by Dahlmann 
(Life of Herod, ch. ii. § 4). His 
piece entitled * Action or Herodotus ' 
was written for a Macedonian au- 
dience, not likely to be very critical, 
on whom he might expect to ]>alm 

VOL. I. C 



Chap. I. 

ties,' was unknown to the earKer writers,* and is even 
contradicted by another version of the matter which 
obtained sufficient currency to give rise to a proverb. 
According to an ancient grammarian, men who failed 
to accomplish their designs were likened in ordinary 
speech to " Herodotus and his shade ;" the explanation 
being that Herodotus had wished to recite his history 
at Olympia, but had delayed from day to day in hopes 
of a cloudy sky, till the assembly dispersed without his 
having effected his purpose.* This version of the story 
has at once more internal probability and more external 
support than the other, for the proverb must certainly 
have been in common use ; but it may well be doubted 
whether Herodotus can ever have seriously contem- 
plated such an exhibition, for the whole tone of the 
work — its candour, its calmness, its unsparing expo- 
sure of the weakness, pettiness, and want of patriotism 
generally prevalent through Greece at the time of the 
Persian war — unfitted it for recitation before a mixed 
audience, like that at Olympia, composed of Greeks 
gathered from all quarters. The reasons which render 
improbable a recitation at Thebes or Corinth, tell with 
tenfold force against an Olympian reading, which might 
have pleased the Athenians, Eginetans, and Plataeans 
present, but would have infinitely disgusted all the other 

With the pretended recitation at Olympia is usually 

easily a tale so turned as to involve a 
compliment both to them and to their 
city. (See its conclusion, vol. iv. p. 
123, ed. Hemsterhuis.) 

' Herodotus is represented as com- 
ing straidit from Caria to Olympia, 
with his !Nine Muses all complete, as 
determining not to recite at Athens or 
anywhere else but at the Great Games, 
as reading his entire history at a 
stretch to the whole assemblage, and 
as carrying off unanimous applause I 

■ As Pliny and the Pseudo-Plu- 

tarch, who both make statements in- 
C(nnpatible with Lucian's story : Pliny, 
that the work was first composed at 
Thurium ; the Pseudo-Plutarch, that 
its whole object was detraction, and 
that it was written not to gain £Eime, 
but to gratify a mali^ant spirit. 

• In Montfaucon*sBibliothcaCoisl. 
Cknl. cLxxvii. p. 609, as I learn from a 
note of Col. Mure's (vol. iv. p. 261). 

' By Suidas (sub voc. eovicvdtdi;;), 
Photius (Bibliothcc. Cod. Ix. ad fin. 
p, 69), and Tzetzes (Chil. i. 19). 

Chap. I. 



connected another story, which need not, however, be 
discarded with it, since it has an independent basis. 
Olorus, with his young son Thucydides, is represented 
as present on the occasion, and the latter is said to have 
been moved to tears by the recital. Herodotus, remarking 
it, turned to Olorus, who was standing near his son, and 
said : " Olorus, thy son's soul yearns after knowledge." 
These details, it is plain, suit better a private reading to 
an audience of friends at Athens than a public recita- 
tion to the vast concourse at Olympia, where the emo- 
tion of an individual would scarcely have attracted 
notice. And it is remarkable that Marcellinus, who 
seems to be the original source from which later 
writers drew,^ neither fixes the scene of the event at 
Olympia, nor says anything of the age of Thucydides. 
The anecdote may, therefore, without violence be trans- 
ferred to the time when Herodotus was making his 
work known at Athens, and we may accept it, so far at 
least as to believe that Thucydides, then about twenty- 
four years of age,^ became acquainted with our author 
through his recitations at that place, and derived from 
that circumstance the impulse which led him to turn 
his own thoughts to historical composition. 

It is probable that Herodotus about the same time 
made the acquaintance of the poet Sophocles. Six 
years later it seems certain that the great tragedian 
wrote a poem in his honour, the opening words of which 
have been preserved by Plutarch,* and three years 
before he wrote it Herodotus had quitted Athens for 
Thurium. The acquaintance is thus almost necessarily 

' The date of Marcellinus is tmcer- 
tain, but from his style and from the 
authors he quotes, I should incline to 
regard him as anterior to Photius. 
Suidas copies Photius, with improve- 
ments ; Photius, I think, drew from 

■ If we accept the statement of 
Pamphila (Frag. 7). 

* See his treatise, " An seni gcrenda 
sit republica ?" — Op., vol. ii. p. 785, B. 
The words quoted are : 

Hdirr cirl vtim^Koyra — — 

As Sophocles was bom in the year 
B.C. 495, the poem must have been 
written B.C. 440. 

c 2 



Chap. I. 

determined to the space between b.c, 447, when Hero- 
dotus seems to have transferred his abode to Athens, 
and B.C. 443 when he removed to Italy. Sophocles 
was then at the zenith of his reputation. He had gained 
his first tragic prize twenty-one years earlier, in B.C. 
468, and for ten years, since the death of ^schylus, 
had been almost without a rival. A little later than 
the departure of Herodotus for Thurium he exhibited 
his tragedy of the Antigone,** in which a thoughi 
occurs which seems borrowed from our author,* and 
almost immediately afterwards he held the highest 
office in the state, being chosen Strategus together with 
Pericles in the year of the Samian expedition (b.c. 440). 
If then an intimacy sprang up at this date between 
the poet and the historian, we may conclude that the 
latter was introduced during his stay at Athens to that 
remarkable galaxy of intellectual lights which was then 
assembled in that city. The stately Pericles, his clever 
rival — Thucydides, the son of Melesias, the fascinating 
Aspasia, the haughty and eloquent Antipho, the scientific 
musician Damon, the divine Phidias, Protagoras the 
subtle disputant, Zeno the inventor of logic, the jovial 
yet bitter Cratinus, the gay Crates, Euripides, the 
master of pathos, Sophocles; the most classic even of the 
ancients, with a host of minor worthies, formed a com- 
bination* which even at Athens was rarely, if ever, 
equalled. The rank of Herodotus in his own coimtry 
was perhaps enough to give him free access to the 

• Probably in B.C. 441, as his elec- 
tion to the office of Strategus in the 
following year was considered to have 
been the consequence of the admiration 
which the play excited. (Aristoph. 
Byzant. ad Soph. Ant. praef.) 

• See note to Herod, iii. 1 19. 

' Anaxagoras left Athens in B.C. 
450 (Diog. Laert. ii. 7), before I sup- 
pose the visit of Herodotus to have 
commenced. He returned some years 
afterwards, but it is uncertain when. 
Gorgias may have been in Athens 

during our author's stay, at least if 
he really conversed with Pericles. 

SPhilostrat. vit. Sophist, i. ix. § 1.) 
on of Chios, the tragedian Achseus, 
Euphorion the son of .^schylus, Ste- 
simbrotus the biographer, the architect 
Hippodamus, and the artists Alca- 
menes, Agoracritus, Callimachus, Cal- 
licrates, Ictinus, Mnesicles, would be 
among the lesser luminaries of the time 
and scene. Socrates was grown up, 
but perhaps scarcely known. 


highest society which Athens could furnish ; but if not, 
as the friend of Sophocles and Olorus,® men of the most 
exalted position, he would be readily received into the 
first circles. Here then he would be brought into con- 
tact with the most cultivated minds, the highest intellects 
of his age. In Asia Minor he had perhaps known Pan- 
yasis, the epic poet (his relative, according to Suidas) ; 
Melissus the philosopher, who defended Samos against 
Pericles"J Choerilus,* who sang of the Persian war ; and 
possibly Hellanicus, Charon, Xanthus Lydus, and Da- 
mastes ; but these were none minds of the first order, 
and they were scattered among the Asiatic cities from 
Halicarnassus to Lampsacus. At Athens he would for 
the first time find congregated an intellectual world, 
and see genius of the highest kind in all its shapes and 
aspects. The effect would be like that which the young 
American author experiences when he comes with good 
introductions to London. He would feel that here was 
the real heart of the Hellenic body, — the true centre, at 
least, of literary Hellas, — the world whose taste he must 
consult, whose approval was fame, whose censure was 
condemnation, whose contempt was oblivion. He would 
find his spirit roused, and his whole nature braced, to 
strain every nerve, in order to maintain his place in the 
literary phalanx which had admitted him into its ranks. 
He would see imperfections in his work unobserved 
before, and would resolve to make it, so far as his 
powers went, perfect. He would look at the master- 
pieces in every kind which surrounded him, and say, 
"My work too shall be in its kind a masterpiece." 
To this perhaps we owe the wonderful elaboration, 
carried on for twenty years after his visit to Athens, 
which, as much as anything else, has given to the 
History of Herodotus its surpassing and never-failing 

" The anecdote concerning Thucy- | known to Herodotus. 
dides implies that Oiorus was already | • Siiidas ad voc. XoipCkoi, 



Chap. I. 

It is not difficult to imagine the reasons whicli may 
have induced our author, in spite of the fascinations of 
its society, to quit Athens, and become a settler in one 
of her colonial dependencies. At Athens he could have 
no citizenship,^ and to the Greek not bent on money- 
making, or absorbed in philosophy, to be without 
political rights, to have no share in what formed the 
daily life and occupied the constant thoughts of all 
around him, was intolerable. "Man is not a man 
'unless he is a citizen," said Aristotle ;* and the feeling 
thus expressed was common to the Greek nation. 
Besides, Athens, like every capital, was an expensive 
place to live in, and the wealth which had made a 
figure at Halicamassus would, even if it were not dissi- 
pated, have scarcely given a living there. The accept- 
ance by Herodotus of a sum of money from the Athenian 
people would seem to indicate that his means were now 
low. They may have been exhausted by the cost of his 
long journeys, or have suflFered from his leaving Hali- 
camassus. At any rate his circumstances may well 
have been such as to lead him gladly to embrace the 
invitation which Athens now offered to adventurers 
from all parts of Greece, whereby he would acquire at 
her hands a parcel of land (/c\?/oo)/), which would place 
him above want, and a new right of citizenship. Ac- 
cordingly, in the year B.C. 443, when he had just past 
his fortieth year, Herodotus, according to the unanimous 
testimony of ancient writers,^ joined the colonists whom 
Pericles was now sending out to Italy, and became one 
of the first settlers at Thurium. 

The settlement was made under circumstances which 

* In later times the citizenship was 
granted lavishly, not only to foreigners 
but to freedmen. (Andoc. de red. 
c. 22, p. 86, 30 ; Demosth. c. Aristocr. 
&c.) But the diflBculty of obtaining it 
was far greater in the time of Pericles. 
And the trouble andezpense (Demosth. 

c. Neaer. p. 1349, 20) would deter 

« Pol. i. 1. 

■ See Strab. xiv. p. 939. Plutarch 
de exil. vol. ii. p. 604, F. Plin. H. N. 
zii. 4. Suidas ad voc. 'Upddorbs, Sec. 

Cii^p. I. 



were somewhat peculiar. Sybaris, one of the Achaean 
colonies in Magna Grascia, after attaining to an unex- 
ampled pitch of prosperity,* had been taken and destroyed 
by the Crotoniats (b.o. 510). The inhabitants who 
escaped fled to Latis and Scidrus,* places previously 
belonging to them, and made no eflfort to recover their 
former home. But fifty-eight years afterwards (b.o. 452) 
their children and grandchildren, having obtained some 
foreign assistance, reoccupied the site of the old city, 
which soon rose from its ruins. Upon this the jealousy 
of Crotona was once more aroused, and again she took 
arms and expelled the Sybarites from their town. They 
did not however now submit, but sent ambassadors into 
Greece to beg for assistance against their enemies. 
Pericles received the envoys with warmth, procured a 
decree of the people in their favour, and sent out the 
colony in which Herodotus participated. It was com- 
posed of Greeks from all quarters, and placed under the 
direction of a certain Lampon, who was thought to 
possess prophetic powers.* The new colonists were to 
xmite with the old Sybarites, and a single city was to 
be built, in which all were to enjoy equal rights and 
privileges. The colony left Athens in the spring of 
B.C. 443,* and established itself without any opposition 
from the Crotoniats. A town was built near, but not 
on, the site of the ancient Sybaris, and was called 
Thurium, from a spring in the neighbourhood ; it seems 
to have been planned by Hippodamus, the architect of 
the Piraeus, who laid it out in a number of straight 

* Strabo says that four of the Italian 
nations were subject to Sybaris ; that 
she ruled over twenty-five cities, and 
brought into the field against Crotona 
300,000 men (vi. p. 378). Scymnus 
Chius gives the number of her full 
citizens as 100,000 (ver. 344). Dio- 
dorus agrees with Stralx> (xii. 9). 

* See Herod, vi. 21. 

* Scliol. Aristoph. Av. 521 ; Pbit. 
vit. Pericl. c. 6 ; Polit. Pranced, vol. ii. 

p. 812, D. ; Suid. ad voc. BovpiofiavT€is. 
Diodorus (xii. 10) makes Lampon and 
Xenocritus joint leaders. 

7 Diodorus places its establishment 
in the year B.C. 446 (xii. 9). The 
date commonly given is B.C. 444 ; but 
CUnton has shown satisfactorily that 
tlie colony was really sent out in the 
spring of B.C. 443. (F. U. vol. ii. p. 58, 
01. 84. 2.) 



Chap. I. 

streets, with others crossing them at right angles, a 
style of building which afterwards went by his name.* 
It was scarcely finished when dissensions broke out 
between the new-comers and the ancient Sybarites, the 
latter of whom are accused of advancing absurd claims 
to a pre-eminence over the foreign colonists. An 
appeal was made to arms, with a result most disastrous 
to those whose arrogance had provoked it. The 
Sybarites were worsted, and, if we may believe Dio- 
dorus, well nigh exterminated ;• and the victorious 
foreigners, having strengthened themselves by receiving 
fresh immigrants, proceeded to order their polity on a 
plan copied apparently from the arrangements which 
prevailed at Athens. They divided themselves into 
ten tribes, named from the principal races of which the 
colony was composed,^ and while modelling in all pro- 
bability their political institutions on the Athenian 
type, adopted for the standard of their jurisprudence 
the legal code of Charondas.* Under these circum- 
stances they became rapidly a flourishing people, until 
in the year B.C. 412, after the failure of the Sicilian 

" Cf. Hesych. Lex. in voc. 'Irnro- 
ddfiov v€fiTf(ns, SLud'PhotiuSy Ai^.lvvay, 
p. 111. For the application of the 
style to Thurium, see Diod. Sic. xii. 
10, ad fin. 

• Diod. Sic. xii. 11. The brief 
notice of Aristotle (Pol. v. 2, 2v/3a- 

plTCU n\€OV€KT€lV d(lOVVT€S OX a<f>€'- 

rtpas rris x'^pas i^inta-ov) agrees, 
except that he spes^ of expulsion 
rather than extermination. Diodonis 
allows that a certain number escaped 

gii. 22, sub fin.), lliese are perhaps 
e Sybarites of whom Herodotus 
speaks (f. 44). 

* The tribes were as follows : three 
Peloponnesian, named Areas, Achais, 
Elea ; three from central Greece, 
BoBOtia, Amphictyonis, Doris ; and 

^jBMj^eom Athens and her dependen- 

^^VBMy Athenais, Euboeis, Kesiotis. 

^HUaatioQ of this kind, proceed- 

ing upon ethnic difference, was more 
common in Dorian than in Ionian 
states. (See Herod, iv. 161, and v. 

• Diodorus (1. s. c.) imagines that 
Charondas actually legislated for the 
Thurians, being one of the citizens : 
t6v &piaTov rhv (1. rw) iv irai^tiqi 
$avfjLaC6fA(vov (1. BavfiaCofUv^v) iroXi- 
r»v Xapavdav. So the Scholiast on 
Plato (p. 193, Ruhnk.), and Valerius 
Maximus (vi. 6, § 4). But he was 
really a native of Catana, and lived 
two centuries earlier. (See Hermann's 
Pol. Antiq. of Greece, § 89.) The 
Thurians only adopted his code, as 
did so many of the Italiot and Siceliot 
towns (Arist. Pol. ii. 9; Heraclid. 
Pont. XXV.), and even the remote city 
of Mazaca in Cappadocia (Strab. xii. 
p. 782). 


expedition, they revolted from their mother city, and 
expelled all the Athenian colonists.* 

Among the settlers who accompanied Herodotus 
from Athens are some names to which a special interest 
attaches. Hippodamus, the philosopher and the archi- 
tect of the Piraeus,* Lysias the orator, then only in his 
fifteenth year, with his brother Polemarchus,* the friend 
of Socrates,* are the most famous. The last two were 
sons of Cephalus, a native of Sjnracuse, whom Pericles 
had persuaded to settle at Athens,* the gentle old man 
in whose house Plato has laid the scene of his great dia- 
logue, the Republic. It is not impossible that Protagoras 
may have been, if not among the first settlers, yet among 
the early visitants, for some accounts made the Thurians 
derive their laws from him.® Empedocles, too, the 
philosopher of Agrigentum, is stated by a contemporary 
writer* to have visited Thurium very shortly after its 
foimdation, and it is not unlikely that he made it his 
abode until his death. Thus the new colony had its 
fair share of the intellect of Greece, and Herodotus 
would not be without some kindred spirits to admire 
and appreciate him. 

At Thurium Herodotus would seem to have devoted 
himself almost entirely to the elaboration of his work. 
It has been asserted in ancient^ and strongly argued in 

• Dionys. Hal. Lys. sub init. vol. v. 
p. 453, ed. Reiske ; Plutarch, vit. X. 
Orat. § 8. (Op. ii. p. 835, D.) 

* See Photius and Hesychius, ad 
voce. Imrodafiov vifirjais, and 'Ifnro- 
da/i«ta ayopd. For his philosophy, 
compare Aristotle (Pol. ii. 5) and 
Stoheus (Florilegium, vol. iii. p. 338, 
T. 103, 26). Photius calls Hippo- 
damus ** a metereologer.*' 

* Plutarch, vit. X. Orat. (1. s. c.) ; 
Phot. Bibl. Cod. 262, p. 1463. Dio- 
nysius (1. s. c.) makes him accom- 
panied by two of his brothers. 

• Plat. Rep. book i. § 1., ct seqq. 

^ So Lysias himself declares (Orat. 
c. Eratosth. p. 120, 26). 

■ Heraclid. Pont. ap. Diog. Laert. 
ix. 50. 

• Glaucus of Rhegium (Fragm. 6), 
reported by A i)ollodoru8 (Fr. 87). The 
anonymous life of Thucydidos, usually 
prefixed to his work, speaks of that 
writer as having been at Thurium — 
which is called Sybaris — between its 
foundation and B.C. 422. But this 
authority is of very little weight. 
Other celebrities among the early 
Thurians are Tisias, the Syracusan, 
the inventor of rhetoric (Phot. Bibl. 
loc. 8. cit. ; Cic. do Invent, ii. 2, &c.), 
and Cleandridas, the father of Gylip- 
•pus (Thucyd. vi. 104 ; Antioch. Fr. 12). 

> Plin. H. N. xii. " Urbis nostne 



Chap. 1. 

modern^ times, that his history was there first composed 
and published. But the assertion, as it stands, is absurd;* 
and the arguments adduced in support of it are not such 
as to command assent. It is proved that there are por- 
tions of the work which seem written in southern Italy,* 
and that there are others which could not have been 
composed till long after the time when Herodotus is said 
to have settled at Thurium.* But those who urge these 
places as conclusive omit to remark, that from their 
parenthetic character they are exactly such passages as a 
writer employed for many years in finishing and retouch- 
ing his composition might conveniently have added to 
the original text. That this is in every case the appear- 
ance they present, a glance at the passages themselves 
will show.* They can always be omitted not only with- 
out detriment, but sometimes with manifest advantage, 


troocntesimo decimo anno . • . auctor 
ille (Herodotus) historiam earn con- 
didit Thuriis in Italii." 

' See Dahlmann's Life of Herodotus, 
ch. iii. § 2. 

■ Sinc5e it makes Herodotus write 
his whole history in one year. 

* As iv. 15, and 99, and vi. 127. 
Dahlmann adds iii. 136-8, and v. 44-5 ; 
but these passages may just as well 
have been written in Asia. It is ad- 
mitted tliat Herodotus *' may have 
comprehended Italy in the plan of 
his early travels," so that " accurate 
knowledge" of the localities, supposing 
that it appeared (which may be ques- 
tioned), would not prove the passages 
to have been written in Italy, 

* The following are the only pas- 
sages of which this can be said ^ith 
any certainty : iii. 160, ad fin. ; v. 77, 
ad fin. ; vii. 114, ad fin. ; 133-7, and 
233, ad fin. ; and ix. 73, ad fin. Dahl- 
mann would add iv. 80, where Sitalces 
is mentioned as a man already known ; 
v. 93, where Hippias is made to speak 
of the calamities which the Corintliians 
would suffer at the hands, of Athens ; 
vi. 98, where ho thinks the reign of 
Artaxerxcs is spoken of as past ; 
vii. 151, where there is a i'<efereuce to 

the embassy of Callias ; iii. 15, where 
Amyrtaeus is spoken of as dead ; and 
i. 130, where there is a mention of a 
Median revolt, which he supposes to 
be that from Darius Kothus. With 
regard to the last two passages he is 
completely mistaken, as will be shown 
in the notes ad loc. The others are 
doubtfnl. Sitalces, who gradually 
built up a great power (Diod. Sic. 
xii. 50), may have been well known 
to the Greeks long before the break- 
ing out of the Peloponnesian war. 
Corinth had suffered considerably at 
the hands of Athens by B.C. 457 (see 
Thucyd. L 105-6). In vi. 98, it is 
not necessarily implied^that the reign 
of Artaxerxes is past. And the em- 
bassy of Callias was not in B.c. 431, 
but in B.C. 449. (See note ad loc,) 

• In iii. 160, the parenthetic por- 
tion is from Ztonvpov dc rovrov to the 
end. In v. 77, from ^trovs de koL 
TovTiov to the end of the inscription. 
In vii. 114, from Utpa-iKhv to jtoro- 
pwraovaav. In vii. 133-7, from o t» 
5c rouri ^ABrfvaiMCi to iwopetfu dc cirl 
t6v irpoTtpov Xoyov. In vii. 233, from 
Tov rov iracda to the end. And in 
ix. 73, from ovroi ^&<rrc to cnroc^ccr^at. 



to the sense and connexion of the sentences.^ This fact 
is a strong indication that they are no part of the 
original work, but insertions made by the author as 
points bearing upon his history came to his knowledge. 
Dahlmann indeed rejects altogether the notion of two 
editions of Herodotus, because no ancient writer is 
found expressly to mention them f but it seems to be 
the view which best explains all the phenomena.* In 
the book itself, besides the indication already men- 
tioned, which is almost tantamount to a proof, there are 
various passages which, either singly, or in connexion 
with those clearly written in Italy, imply the existence 
of two forms of the work, an earlier and a later one, 
and from two of these passages we may even gather 
that the work was published in its earlier shape. The 
enumeration of the Ionian and jEolian cities in the first 
book is such as would be natural to a man writing at 
Halicarnassus, but not so to an inhabitant of Italy .^ 
The same may be said of the enumeration of the 
Satrapies.* Again, the description of the road between 
Olympia and Athens,^ as that wliich led " from Athens 
to Pisa," and not " from Pisa to Athens," is indicative 
of one who dwells east and not west of Greece. More- 
over, the declaration in the fourth book — "additions 
are what my work always from the very first affected"* — 
is only intelligible on the hypothesis above adopted. 

' This is most striking in the kst- 
mentioned passage, where the nexus 
is peculiarly awkward. 

• Life of Herodotus, page 34, 
E. T. 

• It is allowed to some extent hy 
Col. Mure. (Lit. of Greece, vol. iv. 
p. 258.) 

• Herodotus not only takes the 
Ionian cities in reji^ular order from 
south to north (i, 142), but proceeds 
from them to the southern ^Eolians 
(ch. 149), and from them to tlie 
JEoWaub of the Troas (ch. 151). 
Looking at Asia Minor from tlic 
west, a Greek, accustomed to coasting 

voyages, would have followed the 
reverse order. 

■ Of. iii. 90. Herodotus begins with 
the satrapy which contained louia and 
Caria ; a European Greek would havo 
commenced with the Hellespont. 

» ii. 7. 

* Cli. 30. UpoadiJKai has been ge- 
nerally translated " digressions,** or 
" episodes." But its most proper 
sense is " additions, su})plemeuts." 
It may even have this meaning in 
Arist. Rhet. i. 1, § 3 ; a passage wliich 
has been considered to justify the 
other rendering. (See LiddcU and 
Scott's Lexicon, ad voc. 7rpo<r^i)#crj.) 



Chap. I. 

And, finally, we have in two passages a plain proof, not 
only of two periods and places of composition, but like- 
wise of a double publication. In describing the first 
expedition of Mardonius against Greece, Herodotus 
turns aside from his narrative to remark that at this 
point he " has a marvel to relate, which will greatly 
surprise those Greeks who cannot believe that Otanes 
advised the seven conspirators to make Persia a common- 
wealth ;"* whereby he shows, that on the first publica- 
tion of his work, the account given in the third book of 
a debate among the conspirators as to the proper form 
of government to establish in Persia, had provoked 
criticism, and that many had rejected it as incredible. 
He therefore seeks to remove their scruples by noticing 
a fact, which in his first edition he had probably 
omitted, as not very important, and quite unconnected 
with his main subject in the place — (which is the war- 
like expedition of Mardonius) — namely, that Mardonius 
at this time put down the Greek despots. He also in 
the third book, on beginning his narrative of the debate, 
makes a reference to the same objectors, which he does 
in a few words, inserted probably in lieu of what he had 
at first written.^ Such is the evidence of the book 
itself, and we may add to it the fact, that while some 
writers spoke confidently of the work as composed in 
Italy,^ others as distinctly asserted that it was written 
in Asia f and, further, a fact to be hereafter noticed,' that 
there were from very early times^ two readings of a most 
important passage in the book — namely, its opening 
sentence, which is best explained by supposing that 
both proceeded equally from the pen of the author. 


» Herod, vi. 43. 

• lb. iii. 80. In the first edition I 
should conjecture that the words ran : 
Koi €ktxOrf(rav \6yoi roioidt. ^Orcunje 
luv €K€\€v€y jcr.X. ^ Pliuy, 1. s. c. 

" Suidas ad voc. 'Hp6dcTos. Lucian. 
Herod, vol. iv. p. 116. 

• See note to book i. ch. 1, 

* At least as early as the reign of 
Trajan. See Plutarch, de Exil. (p. 
604, F.) : t6 Sc *Hoob6rov 'AXtJcap- 
vaaa-sas laroplrfs dir6o€i(is rjd€f iroXXot 
fi€Taypd<l}ovcriv, lipod6Tov Oovpiov, 

Chap. I. 



It 18 not unlikely that, besides retouching his nar- 
rative from time to time, and interweiaving into it such 
subsequent events as seemed in any way to illustrate its 
course or tenor, Herodotus may have composed at 
Thurium some considerable portions of his work ; for 
instance, the second and fourth books, or the greater 
part of them.* He may likewise have considerably 
enlarged the other books, by the addition of those long 
parentheses which are for ever occurring, whereby the 
general line of the relation is broken in upon, not 
always in a manner that is quite agreeable. It is need- 
less to point out passages of this kind which every 
reader's memory will without difficulty supply ; they 
form in general from one-fourth to one-third of each 
book, and added to the second and fourth books would 
amount to not much less than one-half of the history. 

At the same time he no doubt composed that separate 
work the existence of which it has been the fashion of 
late years to deny^ — his "History of Assyria." The 
grounds for believing that this book was written and 
published will be given in a note on the text,* and need 
not be anticipated here. That it was a treatise of some 
considerable size and pretension is probable from the 
very fact that it was detached from his main history, 
and pubhshed separately.* It must, one would think, at 

" The whole of the second book, 
with the exception of the first chapter, 
may have been com|x>8ed at this time, 
the opening of the third book being re- 
modelled after the second was written. 
In the fourth book, the account of the 
expedition of Darius (chs. 1-4; 83-144) 
may have been original, and the rest 
added at Thurium. 

* See Dahlmann's Life of Herodotus, 
pp. 166-8, E. T. ; Bahr. not. ad Herod, 
i. 106 ; Mure, Lit of Greece, vol. iv. 
p. 270. 

* See note to book i. ch. 106. 

* It has been questioned whether 
the 'Assyrian History' was ever in- 
tended for a separate work, and sug- 

gested that it may have been meant 
only for one of the larger episodes in 
which our author was wont to indulge. 
(See Dahlniann, p. 1G8 ; Biihr, 1. s. c. ; 
Mure, p. 271.) But if so, where was 
it to have come in ? Bahr (following 
Jager, Disp. Herod, p. 229) suggests 
for its place the end of the third book, 
where the revolt and reduction of 
Babylon are related. But this is con- 
trary to the analogy of all the other 
lengthy episodes, and to the |)ervading 
idea of the work. The right by which 
such episodes come in at all, is their 
connexion with the increasing great- 
ness of the Persian empire ; ami they 
therefore occur at tlie point whero 


least have exceeded in bulk the account of Egypt, 
which occupies the whole of the secoild book, or it 
would naturally have formed an episode to the main 
narrative, in the place where we instinctively look for 
it,* and where its omission causes a want of harmony in 
the general plan of the History. And it may have been 
very considerably longer than the Egyptian section. 
With these literary labours in hand, it is no wonder if 
Herodotus, having reached the period of middle life 
when the fatigues of travel begin to be more sensibly 
felt, and being moreover entangled in somewhat diffi- 
cult domestic politics, laid aside his wandering habits, 
and was contented to remain at Thurium without even 
exploring to any great extent the coimtries to which his 
new position gave him an easy access.' There is no trace 
of hifhaving journeyed further during these years than 
the neighbouring towns of Metapontum and Crotona, 
except in a single instance. He must have paid a visit 
to Athens at least as late as B.C. 436, and probably 
some years later ; for he saw the magnificent Propylaea,® 
one of the greatest of the constructions of Pericles, 
which was not commenced till B.C. 436, nor finished till 
five years afterwards.' Perhaps this visit was delayed 
till after the breaking out of the Peloponnesian war, 
and it may have been by its means that Herodotus 
became so intimately acquainted with little events be- 
longing to the first and second years of the war,^ of 

the Persian empire first absorbs or « The natural place, according to 

attempts to absorb each country. (See the notions of Assyrian history enter- 

i. 95, 142, 171, 178 ; ii. 2 ; iii. 20 ; , tained by our author, would have been 

iv. 5 ; V. 3.) In the only two places ; book i. ch. 184, where he is forced to 

where the * Assyrian History ' could I speak of certain persons who doubtless 

properly have come into the extant '. figured in it conspicuously. He did 

work of Herodotus — the absorption of ; not make any distinction between 

Assyria by Media, and of Babylonia ' Assyrian and Babylonian history. 

by Persia — the reader is referred to 
the 'Assjrrian History' for information. 
To me this is conclusive evidence that 
it was always intended to have been 
(as indeed I believe that in fact it was) 

7 Supra, p. 12. 
' Herod, v. 77. 

' Harpocrat. ad voc. npofrvXcua 
ravra, Philoch. Fr. 98. 

* As, 1. the attack upon Thebe« 

a separate work. , (vii. 233), where he knows the num- 




wliich it is unlikely that more than vague rumours 
would have reached him at Thurium, 

The state of Thurium, while it was the abode of 
Herodotus, appears to have been one of perpetual 
trouble and disquiet. The first years after tl^e founda- 
tion of the colony were spent, as has been already 
shown,* in a bloody feud between the new comers and 
the ancient inhabitants — the Sybarites. Soon after- 
wards a war broke out between the Thurians and the 
people of Tarentum, which was carried on both by land 
and sea, with varied success, and which probably con- 
tinued during a space of several years.' A little later, 
as the Peloponnesian struggle approached, an internal 
dispute seems to have arisen among the citizens them- 
selves as to the side which they should espouse in the 
approaching contest.* The true controversy was thinly 
veiled tmder the show of a doubt about the person and 
state entitled to be regarded as the real founders of the 
city. From the first the Peloponnesian element in the 
population had been considerable, and now this section 
of the inhabitants put forward pretensions to the first 
place in the colony. The horrors of civil war were for 
the present avoided by an appeal to the common oracle 
of both races, which skilfully eluded the difficulty, and 
staved oflf the threatened crisis, by declaring that Apollo 
himself, and none other, was to be accounted the 

ber of the assailants, tho important 
part taken by Eurymachus, and his 
fate (compare Thucyd. ii. 2, and 5, 
ad fin.) ; 2. the betrayal of the Pelo- 
ponnesian ambassadors to the Athe- 
nians by Sitalces (vii. 137), where he 
has the names of three, the place where 
they were seized, and the fact of their 
being brought to Athens for punish- 
ment: with an allusion also to the 
cause of the exasperation of the Athe- 
nians against them {ts clXc dXUas 
roifs €K TipwBos; comp. Thucyd. ii. 
67, ad fin.) ; and, 3. the sparing of 
Decelea, when the country between 
Brilessun and Fames was ravaged by 

Archidamus (ix. 73 ; the fact is quite 
compatible with the statements of 
Thucydides, ii. 23, thou^^h not men- 
tioned by him). I should incline also 
to assign the flight of Zopynis (iii. 130, 
ad fin.^ to the same i^eriod (b.c. 431 
or 430). No little events are related 
of a later date. 
« Page 24. 

• Diod. Sic. xii. 23. The descrip- 
tion, although placed under one year, 
seems applicable to a longer period. 
(^diairo\€fiovvT€s — iir6p6ovv — troWas 
fiaxas Ka\ oxpo/SoXtcr/iioi/f.) Compare 
Antioch. Fr. 12. 

* Ibid. xii. 35. 



Chap, I. 

founder. But the struggle of parties, in however sub- 
dued a form, must have continued, and we find marked 
traces of it about the period of the Sicilian expedition, 
when Thurium first wavers between the two belli- 
gerents,* then joins Athens, banishing those who oppose 
the measure,^ and finally, after the Athenian disasters, 
expels three hundred of its citizens for the crime of 
Atticism^ and becomes an ally of the opposite side.* 

It is uncertain whether Herodotus lived to see all 
these vicissitudes. The place and time of his death are 
matters of controversy. Some writers of great eminence 
have thought it plain from his work that he must not 
only have been alive, but have been still engaged in its 
composition, at least as late as his seventy-seventh 
year.® And one tradition prolongs his life to the year 
B.C. 394,' when his age would have been ninety. Of 
the place of his death three accounts are given ; accord- 
ing to one he died at Pella in Macedonia ;^ according to 
another, at Athens ;' while a third placed his decease at 
Thurium.' When the evidence is so conflicting, it is 
impossible that the conclusions drawn from it can be 
more than conjectural. There seems, however, to be 
great reason to doubt whether Herodotus really enjoyed 
the length of life which has been commonly assigned to 
him. There is no passage in his writings of which we 
can say that it must certainly have been written later 
than B.C. 430.* There are a few which may have been 

* Thucyd. vi. 104. 
« Ibid. vii. 33. 

^ Dionys. Hal. Lys. iv. p. 453. 

• See Dahlmann's Life of Herodotus, 
ch. iii. § 1, ad fin. ; Mure's Literature 
of Greece, vol. iv. App. G. ; and Dr. 
Schmitz's article in Smith's Biogra- 
phical Dictionary, vol. ii. p. 432. 

• Suidas (ad voc/EXXaviicor) makes 
Herodotus visit the court of Amyn- 
tas II., king of Macedon, who only 
mounted the throne in b.c. 394. ^See 
Clinton, F. H. vol. ii. App. ch. 4.) 

* Suidas (ad voc. *Hp6doTos) reports 

this tradition, but expresses his dis- 
belief of it. 

* Marcellin. in vit. Thucyd. p. ix. 

■ This was the view of Suidas, who 
says : 'Eis r6 Govpiov, oTrouei^d/tcvoir 
vTr6 * ABrivaiioVf iOtXovr^s ijX^c, jcaieei 
TeXivrrja'ae hrl rrjs dyopas riBanrat, 

* It cannot be proved that any 
event recorded by Herodotus is more 
recent than the betrayal of the Spartan 
and Corinthian ambassadors into the 
hands of the Athenians (Herod, vii. 
133-7), which took place in the 
autumn of b.c. 430. (Thucyd. ii. 67.) 

Chap. I. 



composed abont B.C. 425 or 424,* but none which, 
rightly understood, give the slightest indication of any- 
later date.* The work of Herodotus, therefore, con- 
tains no sign that he outlived his sixtieth year, and 
perhaps it may be said that the balance of evidence is 
in favour of his having died at Thurium when he was 
about sixty .^ His tomb was shown in the market-place 
of that city, and there probably was the epitaph quoted 
by ancient writers. The story of his having been 
buried with Thucydides at Athens is absurd upon its 
face. It might suit the romance writers to give the 
two great historians a single tomb, but nothing can be 
more unlikely than such a happy conjunction. Thucy- 
dides, moreover, was buried in the family burial-place 
of the Cimonidae, where " it was not lawful to inter a 
stranger."* How then should Herodotus have rested 
within its precincts ? unless it be said that he too was of 
the Cimonian family, which no ancient writer asserts. 
The legend of his death at Pella belongs to the very 
improbable tale of his having enjoyed, in company with 
Hellanicus and Euripides,' the hospitality of Amyntas II. 

* As the cruel deed committed by 
Amestris in her old age (vii. 114), 
which, however, cannot be determined 
¥rithin a space of 10 or 15 years ; the 
desertion of Zopyrus to the Athenians 
(iii. 160, ad fin.), which was towards 
tiie close of the reign of Artaxerxes 
(Ctes. Exc. § 43) ; and the apparent 
mention of that reign as past (vi. 98), 
which would be decisive, if it distinctly 
asserted what it is supposed to imply. 

* The passages alleged by Dahlmann 
(L 130 ; iii. 15 ; and ix. 73) are ex- 
plained in the notes ad loc, 

' The negative evidence derived 
fn>m the absence from his great work 
of touches clearly marking a later date, 
is an argument of great importance, 
when it is observed how frequent and 
continuous such touches are up to 
a particular period. The complete 
silence with regard to the Sicilian 
expedition, which, if it had passed 
before his eyes, must have appeared 

VOL. 1. 

to him the most important event of 
his time, seems to show that at least 
he did not outlive B.C. 415. Had 
he witnessed the struggle, he would 
almost certainly have made some 
allusion to it. Had he seen its close, 
he could not have made the assertion 
in book vii. ch. 170, that a certain 
slaughter of Tarentines and Rhegines 
was the greatest which ever befell the 
Greeks. Had he been still \\\mg when 
Thurium joined the Pelo|X)nnesian 
side in B.C. 412, he would have been 
banished with Lysias, and would then 
probably never have been known as 
" the Thurian." 

' Marcellinus proves the family 
connexion of Thucydides with the 
CimonidfB by the fact of his tomb 
being among the /xi^/xara Kifia>i/ca 
(Vit. Thucyd. p. ix.) : — fcVoj yhp 
ovh€\iy he says, (Ktl BdrrrcTaL. 

• Suidas ad voc. 'EWdviKot. 



Chap. I. 

king of Macedon, who ascended the throne B.C. 394, when 
Herodotus would have been ninety ! On the whole it 
seems most probable that the historian died at Thurimn 
(shortly after his return from a visit paid to Athens in 
about the year B.C. 430 or 429), at an age little, if at 
all, exceeding sixty.^ He would thus have escaped the 
troubles which afflicted his adopted coimtry during the 
later portion of the Peloponnesian war, and have been 
spared the pain of seeing the state of which he was a 
citizen enrol herself among the enemies of his loved 
and admired Athens. 

No author tells us anything of the domestic life of 
Herodotus. If we may be allowed to form a con- 
jecture from this silence, it seems fair to suppose that 
he was immarried. His estimate of the female character 
is not high,^ and his roving propensities in his earlier 
days would have interposed a bar to matrimony at the 
time of life when men commonly enter on it. That he 
died childless seems to be indicated by the position in 
which he is made to stand to a certain Plesirrhous, who 
is said to have inherited all his property, and to have 
brought out his work after his death.^ These state- 
ments rest, it piust be admitted, on authority of the 
least trustworthy kind, but it seems rash to reject them 

* It has been argued that the 
general tone and character of our 
author's work prove him to have 
composed it in old SL^e (Oahlmann, 
p. 37, E. T. ; Jager, Disp. Herod, p. 
16 ; Bahr. de Vit. et Script. Herod. 
§ 4) ; but Col. Mure judiciously re- 
marks that the peculiarities insisted 
on may " with better reason be re- 
garded as reflecting the mind of the 
man than the time of life at which he 
wrote. ITie author of a narrative 
treating at similar length, and in 
equally popular vein, the more in- 
teresting vicissitudes of a national 
history, will usually be foimd,** he 
observes, "where the notices of his 
life are scanty or fabulous, taking his 

place in the traditions of his country, 
and in the fancy of his readers, as an 
aged man." (Literature of Greece, 
vol. iv. p. 517.) 

* Compare i. 4 and 8; ii. Ill, ^^c 

• These particulars are reported by 
Hephsestion (ap. Phot. Bibliothec. 
Cod. 190, p. 478), a late writer of 
small authority, who moreover throws 
discredit on his own anecdotes by al- 
lowing them to contradict one another, 
llie same Plesirrhous, who in two of 
his tales is made to be our author^s 
heir, in another is said to have com- 
mitted suicide while Herodotus was 
still engaged upon his work. (Ibid, 
p. 483.) 

Chap. L 



as worthless. They have no internal improbability, and 
it is in their favour that they are not such as it would 
have been worth any man's while to invent. 

The great work of Herodotus, to which he had 
devoted so many years, was not perhaps regarded by 
him as altogether complete at his decease. He was 
continually adding touches to it, as events came to his 
knowledge which seemed to him in any way to illus- 
trate or confirm his narrative. In one place, itself per- 
haps among the latest additions to the history,* he 
promises to relate an occurrence, for which we look in 
vain through the remaining pages. This may be a 
mere inadvertence, parallel to that which has permitted 
the repetition of a foolish tale about the priestesses of 
Pedasa, with a variation in the story which reads like a 
contradiction.* But it has generally been regarded as a 
trace of incompleteness, which is not unlikely to be the 
true account, the author having designed to introduce 
the sequel of the narrative at a later point in his history, 
but having died before proceeding so far. If his decease 
occurred when he was about sixty, this would be far 
more probable than if we were bound to accept the 
common notion of his longevity. Dahlmann's sup- 
position* that Herodotus, writing at the age of seventy- 
seven, was still contemplating not only small improve- 
ments, but a lengthy digression on a most important 
subject, if not an entirely new work, is as unlikely as 
anything that can well be imagined on such a subject. 
If the History of Herodotus strikes us as wanting finish, 
both in some points of detail and in the awkwardness 
and abruptness of its close, we may fairly ascribe the 
defect to the untimely death of the writer, who was 

* Book vii. ch. 213. 

» See i. 175, and viii. 104. The 
miracle, which in the first passage is 
said to have occurred three times, in 
the last is mentioned as having only 

been witnessed twice. 

• Life of Herodotus, ch. ix. § 2. 
Col. Mure adopts the same view. 
(Lit. of Greece, vol. iv. p. 270-1.) 

D 2 


probably not older than sixty, and perbaps not more 
than fifty-five at his decease. Had his life been 
lengthened to the term ordinarily allotted to man, the 
little blemishes which modem criticism discerns might 
have been removed, and the work have shown through- 
out the finished grace which the master's hand is wont 
to impart when it consciously gives the last touches. 





Importance of the question. HiBiorical materials already existing in Greece. 
Works of three kinds : 1. Mythological; 2. Qeographical; 3. Strictly histori- 
caL How tar used as materiaU by Herodotus. Xanthus. Charon. Diony- 
siuB. The geographers: Hecatceus, Scylax, Aristeas. The poets. Chief 
source of the History of Herodotus, personal observation and inquiry. How 
&r authenticated by monumental records: 1. In Greece; 2. In foreign coun- 
triee— Egypt, Babylon, Persia. General result. 

In order to estimate aright, either the historical value 
of the great work of our author, or the credit that is 
due to him for its composition, it is necessary to make 
some inquiry as to the materials which he possessed and 
the sources from which he drew his narrative. " The 
value of every history, as a work of utility, must pri- 
marily depend on the copiousness and authenticity of 
the materials at the authors disposal."^ And the 
merit of the author as a historian must be judged from 
the sagacity which he shows in the comparative esti- 
mate of the various sources of his information, and the 
use which he makes of the stock of materials, be it 
scanty or abundant, to which circumstances give him 
access. To judge, then, either of the writer or his 
work, we must inquire what the sources of informa- 
tion were from which Herodotus had it in his power 
to draw, and to what extent he availed himself of 

Now it seems certain that a considerable store of 
written historical information already existed in the 
native language of Herodotus at the time when he 
commenced his history. Historical composition had 

* See Mure's Literature of Greece, vol. iv. pp. 294-5. 



Chap. IL 

not, indeed, begun at a very distant date ; but from 
the middle of the sixth century B.C., there had been a 
rapid succession of writers in this department, more 
especially among the fellow-countrymen of our author 
in Asiatic Greece. Setting aside Cadmus of Miletus as 
a personage whose existence is at least doubtful,^ there 
may certainly be enumerated as labourers in the his* 
torical field during this and the first half of the 
ensuing century, Eugaeon of Samos, Bion and Deiochus 
of Proconnesus, Eudemus of Paros, Amelesagoras of 
Chalcedon, Democles of Phygela, Hecataeus and Dio- 
nysius of Miletus, Charon of Lampsacus, Damastes of 
Sigeum, Xanthus of Sardis, and Pherecydes of Leros — 
all natives of Asia Minor, or the islands in its imme- 
diate vicinity, and the authors of books on historical 
subiects before or about the time when Herodotus read 
the'first draft of his work at Athens. Besides these 
writers there were others of considerable reputation in 
more distant parts of Greece, as Acusilaiis of Argos, 
Theagenes and Hippys of Rhegium, Polyz^lus of Mes- 
senia,^ &c., whose productions belong to the same 
period. The works of these historians, so far as can 
be gathered from the notices of ancient authors,* and 
the fragments we possess of many of them,* are divi- 
sible into three classes, of very different importance 
and authority. The earlier writers, who are fairly 
represented by Acusilaiis, seem to have devoted them- 
selves exclusively to the ancient Greek legends, be- 
longing to the mythical period before the return of 
the Heracleids. They wrote works which they called 

' The argnments against Cadmus 
are well condensed by Muller in his 
second volume of the Fragmenta Hist. 
Grajc. pp. 3-4. 

" For a detailed account of these 
writers and their productions, see 
MUller's Fr. H. G. vols. i. and ii. 
Comp. Clinton's Fasti Hellenici, vol. 
ii. Apjiendix, ch. 2J, and Mure, vol. 
iv. ch. 3. Matthi(e*8 Manual of the 

History of Greek and Roman Litera- 
ture, though scanty, is useful. 

* Particularly from Suidas. 

* Sturz and Creuzer were the first 
to begin the collection of these valu- 
able remains of antiquity, which has 
at last been accomplished, so as to 
leave nothing to desire, by C. MizUcr, 
in the work already so often quoted. 



generally "Genealogies" or " Theogonies," • imitated 
closely from the old genealogical poets, such as Hesiod, 
whose poem entitled " Theogonia ** is said to have been 
the model followed by some of them.' No complete 
production of the kind by a writer of this early age 
has come down to us ; but the Bibliotheca of the gram- 
marian Apollodorus * is perhaps a tolerable representa- 
tion of their usual character. 

The next subject which engaged the attention of the 
prose writers, and on which works were composed by 
some of the authors above-mentioned, was geography. 
At all times an important element in historical research, 
this study, in the earlier period of Greek literature, 
was scarcely distinguished from that nobler science ojf 
which it is properly the handmaid. Scy lax of Caryanda,* 
HecataBUs,^ Dionysius, according to one account,' Charon,' 
Damastes,* and perhaps Democles,' wrote treatises on 

' As the works of Acusilaiis and 
Hecatams, entitled TfutdkoyUu (Suid. 
ad voc. Acusilaiis, Steph. Byz., &c.), 
and that of Pherecydes, which was 
called Q€oyovia (Suid.). 

^ Clemeut says of Acusilaiis and 
Euraelus (Endemus?) — ra 'Hcrtodou 
/Acr^XXa^av ftr irtC^v \6yov (IStrom. 
vi. p. 752-6). The fragments of 
Acusilaiis show the statement to he 

• Printed in the first volume of 
MUller's Fragm. U. Gr., and edited 
in a separate form hy Tanaquil Faher 
(Saumur, 1611), Heyne (Gottingen, 
1782\ and Clavier (Paris, 1805). 

• llie work which has come down 
to us under the name of this writer is 
tiudoubtedly spurious, but still it is a 
sign that a genuine work had once 
existed. There is further evidence in 
the passages quoted by Aristotle 
(Polit. vii. 13) and others, which do 
not occur in the fictitious Scylax. 

• The great work of Hecataeus was 
entitled * The Circuit of the Earth ' 
(yrit n€piodos). It contained a de- 
scription of the known world, which 
he divided into two parts, Euro^x) and 

Asia, including in the latter Africa. 
The coasts of the Mediterranean were 
described in detail, but only scanty 
knowledge was shown of the more in- 
land tracts. For a complete account 
see Klausen's Fragments of Hecatjeus, 
and Mure's Literature of Greece, vol. 
iv. pp. 144-158. 

' Suidas (ad voc. Atoyva-ios MtXi}- 
a-tos^ ascribes to him a work entitled 
* nf^iriyrja-is olKovfievrjs,^ or a Descrii>- 
tion of the Inhabited World ; but it 
is doubted whether the book intended 
is not that of the Augustan geographer 
commonly known as Dionysius Perio- 
getes (Bernhardy ad Dion. Per. p. 
489 ; Miiller ad Fragm. U. G. vol. ii. 
p. 6). 

* Charon wrote a Peri plus of the 
parts lying beyond the pillars of Her- 
cules (Suidas). 

* Damastes is quoted by Strabo on 
the geof^rayihy of the Troas, and of 
Cyprus (xiii. p. 842, and xiv. p. 973). 
Agathenier says (i. 1) that he wrote 
a Periplus. Ilia ^eo^aphy was fol- 
lowed to a coiisidcrjO)le extent by 
Eratosthenes (Strab. i. p. 68). 

* Democles treated of the ** Volcanic 




Chap. II. 

general or special geography, into which they inter- 
wove occasional notices belonging to the history of the 
country whose features they were engaged in describing. 
These labours led the way to history proper. Dionysius 
of Miletus, a contemporary and countryman of Hecataeus,* 
seems to have set the example by the composition of a 
work entitled * Persica,' or Persian History, which pro- 
bably traced the progress of that nation from the time 
of Cyrus to a period which cannot be fixed in the 
reign of Xerxes.* This work would seem to have been 
written in the early part of the fifth century B.C.* 
The example thus set was soon followed by others. 
Charon of Lampsacus, and Xanthus of Sardis, towards 
the middle of the century, composed treatises partly 
on the special history of their own countries, partly on 
more general subjects. Charon, in his "Hellenica" 
and " Persica," went over most of the ground which is 
traversed by Herodotus,^ while in his " Prytanes," or 
" Chief Rulers of Sparta," he laid perhaps the first foimda- 
tion among the Greeks of a practical system of chrono- 
logy.^ He was likewise the author of a work or works ^ 
on the annals of his native city, Lampsacus, of which 


phenomena in Asia Minor" (Strab. 
1. p. 85), probably in a geographical 

' Suidas ad voc. 'Exarator. 

7 Since he is said to have written a 
work 'On events subsequent to the 
reien of Darius ' (Suidas). 

■ Suidas says that Dionysius flou- 
rished contemporaneously with Heca- 
tasus. It is not likely, therefore, that 
he outlived Darius many years. He- 
cataeus seems to have died soon after 
B.O. 480 (Suidas ad voc. *EXXayiieof). 

* Charon related the dream of As- 
tyages with regard to his daughter 
Mandan^; the revolt and flight of 
Pactyas the Lydian, first to Mytilfin^, 
and then to Chios, with his final cap- 
ture by the Persians ; the aid lent by 
Athens to the revolted lonians, the 
sack of Sardis except the citadel, and 

the retreat following closely upon it ; 
also the disasters which Mi^onius 
experienced about Mount Athos. He 
likewise noticed the flight of Themis- 
tocles to Asia, which he placed in the 
reign of Artaxerxes. Thus his narra- 
tive would seem to have come down 
to a later date than that of Herodotus. 

^ Suidas, who alone mentions this 
work, notices that it was chrono- 

* Suidas mentions two books of 
Gharon*s on this subject, and the ex« 
tracts from his writings concerning 
Lampsacus, which have come down 
to us, furnish three distinct titles, but 
it may be doubted whether all the 
references are not really to a single 
treatise. (See Miiller's Frag. H, Ur. 
vol. i. pp. xix.-xx.) 



several fragments have come down to us* Xanthus 
treated at length of the history of Lydia, not only during 
the recent dynasty of the Memmadae,^ but also during the 
remoter times of the Heraclidae, and even of the Atyadae. 
He indulged in ethnological, linguistic, and geological 
dissertations ;* and must have written a history, in the 
general character of its matter not very unlike that of 
our author. A book upon the Magian priest caste is also 
assigned to him ; but it is so seldom quoted ' that some 
doubt may be considered to attach to it. About the same 
time probably, Hippys of Rhegium composed an account 
of the colonisation of Italy and Sicily, and also a chro- 
nological work, the exact nature of which cannot be 
determined.* It is likely that besides these authors 
there may have been many others, who, under the 
general name of Logographers or legend-writers, de- 
voted themselves to historical subjects, and especially 
to that which could not fail to exercise a particular 
attraction, the history of the war with Persia.' 

This brief review is perhaps enough to indicate the 
general character of the materials which existed in the 
historical Uterature of his country at the time when 
Herodotus may be presimied to have written.® It is. 

• Col. Mnre doubte whether Xan- 
thus treated of this period, because 
" not one of the successors of Gyges 
is noticed in his Fragments " (Lit. of 
Greece, vol. iv. p. 173), but it has 
with mi^ch reason been conjectured 
(Miiller, vol. i. p. 40) that the work 
of Xanthus furnished Nicholas of Da- 
mascus with his materials for the 
history of the kings in question. 

• See his Fragments, Frs*. 1, 3, 4, 
and 8. 

• Twice only, by Diogene^ldLAertius 
(Proem. § 2), and by Clemens Alex- 
andrinus (Strom, iii. p. 515). The 
former passage has been doubted 
(Mtiller, p. 44), but without sufficient 

• Suidas merely calls this work 
Xpwuca, The few fragments which 

remain of it seem to show that its 
compass was great and its affectation 
of accuracy remarkable Tsee Frag- 
ments 1, 2, 3, and 5). The conjec- 
ture that the other works ascribed to 
Hippys were portions of his XpoviKa 
(which Col. Mure approves, p. 178), 
is not borne out by the citations. 
(See MUUer's Fr. H. G. vol. ii. pp. 

7 That several of the early writers 
had treated this subject is plain from 
Thucydides (i. 97). 

' Hellanicus of Lesbos, Stesimbro- 
tus of Thasos, and Antiochus of Syra- 
cuse, who are enumerated by Col. 
Mure among the authors "whose 
works were, or may have been, pub- 
lished before that of Herodotus," have 
been purposely omitted from the fore- 



Chap. II. 

however, quite a distinct question how far they may 
be regarded as materials really at our author's disposal. 
Moderns, accustomed to the ready multiplication of 
hooks which the art of printing has introduced, and 
living in times when every writer who makes any 
pretence to learning is the owner of a library, are apt 
to imagine that the facilities of reference common in 
their own day, were enjoyed equally by the ancients ; 
but such a view is altogether mistaken. Books, till 
long after the time of Herodotus, were multiplied with 
difficulty, and were published more by being read to 
audiences than by the tedious and costly process of 
copying. Herodotus, it is probable, possessed but few 
of those cumbrous collections of papyrus-rolls which 
were required in his day to contain a work of even 
moderate dimensions.* The only prose writer from 
whom he quotes is Hecataeus, and we have no direct evi- 
dence that he had it in his power to consult the works 
of any other Greek historian. No public libraries are 
known to have existed at the time,^ and had he possessed 
a familiar knowledge of other authors, it is difficult 
to suppose that his book would not have borne evident 

going review as writers of too late a 
date to come proi)erly within it. Hel- 
lanicus was indeed, if we may trust 
Pamphila, some years older than our 
author, but he must be regarded as a 
later writer; since, 1. in his great 
work (the Atthis) he alluded to the 
battle of Arginusai, which was fought 
in B.C. 406, nearly 20 years after the 
time when Herodotus seems to have 
died ; and, 2. it is related of him 
that he read (Schol. ad Soph. Phil. 
201) and copietl Herodotus (Porphyr. 
ap. Euseb. Pr. Ev. x. p. 466 b). Ste- 
simbrotus was as nearly as possible 
contemjwrary with our author, but 
his only historical work, the * Memoirs 
of Themistocles, Thucydides, and 
Pericles,' could not have been \vritten 
before B.C. 430 (cf. Frag. Hist. Gr. 
vol. ii. p. 56, Fr. 11), and probably 
several years later. Antio- 

chus was also a contemporary, but as 
he continued his Italian history down 
to the year B.C. 423, Herodotus can 
scarcely have profited by him. 

• Books consisted of a number of 
sheets of papyrus (a coarse material) 
pasted together, with writing on one 
side only, rolled round a thickish 
staff. So small a work as the Meta- 
morphoses of Ovid required fifteen 
such cumbrous rolls (Ov. Trist. i. 

* Polycrates had formed a public 
library at Samos (Athena?us, i. i. p. 
9, Schw.), and Pisistratus at Athens 
(ibid.) ; but the latter had certainly 
been carried to Susa by Xerxes (Aul. 
Gell. vi. 17), and it is very unlikely 
that the former had escaped the gene- 
ral ruin consequent uix)u the treachery 
of Maiandrius (Heroa. iii. 146-9). 


traces of it. It is not his practice purposely to withhold 
names, or to avoid reference to his authorities ; on the 
contrary he continually lets us see in the most artless 
manner whence his relations are derived, and notliing 
is more clear than that he drew them in the main, not 
from the books of writers, but from the lips of those 
whom he thought to have the best information. It is 
possible that he was wholly imacquainted with the 
compositions of those previous authors, who had 
treated of subjects of real history coming within the 
scope of his work. The fame of such persons was 
often local, and the very knowledge of their writings 
may in early times have been confined within narrow 
limits. It was the doing of a later age — an age of 
book-collectors and antiquaries — to draw forth these 
authors from their obscurity, and invest them with au 
importance to which they had little claim, except as 
tmread and ancient. 

The authors from whom, if from any, Herodotus 
might have been expected to draw, are three of those 
most recently mentioned — Dionysius of Miletus, Charon 
of Lampsacus, and Xanthus Lydus. All were, ko to 
speak, his neighbours; and while the former two 
wrote at length upon Persian aflfairs, the last-uieii- 
tioned composed an elaborate treatise on the history 
of his native country, — one of the subjects which 
Herodotus regarded as coming distinctly within tlie 
scope of his great work. It is hardly possible that 
he would have neglected these books, especially the 
last, had they been known to him. Yet, from a com- 
parison of the fragments, which are tolerably ex- 
tensive, both of Charon and of Xanthus with the 
work of our author, it becomes apparent that, whether 
he knew the histories of these writers or no, at any 
rate he made no use of them. His Lydian history 
shows not the slightest trace of any acquaintance 
with the labours of Xanthus, whom he not merely 



ignores,* but from whom he diflFers in some of the most 
important points of his narrative, as the colonisation of 
Etniria,^ and the circumstances under which the Merm- 
naddB became possessed of the throne/ His custom of 
mentioning different versions of a story when he is 
aware of them, makes it ahnost certain that he did not 
know the tale which in the Lydian author took the 
place of his own story of Tyrs^nus, or the long narra- 
tive, probably from the same source, • which traced the 
hereditary feuds of the Heraclide and Mermnade families. 
Again, his remark that the land of Lydia has few 
natural phenomena deserving notice,* is indicative of 
an ignorance of those interesting accounts — so entirely 
accordant with truth and fact * — which the native writer 
had given of certain most peculiar physical appear- 
ances in the interior of Lydia.* Herodotus, whom 
geological phenomena always interest,* would cer- 
tainly not have omitted, had his knowledge extended 
so far, a description of that extraordinary region, the 
Catakecaumenfe, which even to the modem traveller, 
with his far more extensive knowledge of the earth's 
surface, appears so remarkable. It seems, therefore, 
to be beyond a doubt that Ephorus was mistaken when 
he talked of Xanthus as " having served as a starting- 
point to Herodotus." ^ He was an older man, having 

• Dablmann has remarked (Life of 
Herod, p. 91) that the mere omission 
of all mention on the part of Hero- 
dotus of the Lydian kings Alcimus, 
Ascalus, Gambles, &c., whom Xan- 
thus celebrated, is not conclusive ; 
since " one sees from his occasional 
observations that he knew more than 
his connected narrative implies." Still 
it is, at least, a suspicious circum- 

■ See Xanthus, Fr. 1. 

* The certainty of this depends on 
theex tent to which it may be regarded 

* led that Xantlius furnished 

of Damascus with the mate- 

Lydian history. I agree 

with C. Miiller, that little doubt can 
reasonably be entertained on the sub- 
ject. (Frag. Hist. Gr. vol. i. p. 40, 
and vol. iii. p. 370 ; note to Pr. 22.) 

• Nic. Damasc. Fr. 49. 

• Book i. ch. 93. 

7 See Mr. Hamilton's Travels in 
Asia Minor (vol. i. pp. 136-144), 
where the striking features of this 
curious volcanic tract are fully and 
graphically portrayed. 

• Fragments 3 and 4. 

• See ii. 10-12 ; iv. 23 and 191 ; 
vii. 129. , 

• Fragment 102. 'HpoB^i^ riis 
d<f)opiias d(d«»K6Tos. 

Chap. II. 



been bom B.C. 499,* and probably an earlier writer 
(though, as he mentioned an event in the reign of 
Artaxerxes,' he could not have been greatly earlier) ; 
but Herodotus had not seen, perhaps had not heard, of 
his compositions. Apparently, they were first brought 
to the knowledge of the Gbreeks by Ephorus, a native 
of the neighbouring Cym^, who floiu-ished during the 
reign of Philip of Macedon. It is not even certain 
that they were written at the time when Herodotus first 
compost hi listo.7.- 

Modem critics have rarely* failed to see our author's 
entire independence of the works of Xanthus ; but it 
has sometimes been argued that there are immistake- 
able traces of his having known and used the writings 
of Charon.* Undoubtedly he mentions a variety of 
matters, some of them matters that may be called 
trivial, which were likewise reported by Charon ; but 
as the two writers went over exactly the same ground, 
they could not but have many points of contact, and 
therefore, probably, of coincidence. The question is, 
whether the points are really so trivial and the coinci- 
dences at once so numerous and so exact and minute, 
as to indicate the use by one writer of the other, or to 
imply naturally anything more than mere common 
truthfulness. Now the points of coincidence do not 
really exceed four. Charon and Herodotus alike 
related, — 1. A certain dream of Astyages, concerning 
his daughter Mandan^ : 2. The revolt of Pactyas, and 
his capture : 3. The taking of Sardis by the lonians : 

* Suidas ad voc. SdvOos, 

* Fragment 3. Artaxerxes did not 
ascend the throne till B.C. 4G4, when 
Herodotus was twenty years of age. 

* If Herodotus wrote the first draft 
of his work in Asia Minor, about b.c. 
450, he would have composed it at 
the time when Xanthus was only 
fifty-one, so that it is quite possil)le 
the Lydian history of that author may 
have been published afterwards. Dio- 

nysius spoke of Xanthus as only a 
little earlier than Thucydides. (Jud. 
de Thuc. p. 818.) 

* Creuzer is, I believe, the only 
modem critic who has maintained that 
Herodotus made use of Xanthus. 
(Creuz. ad Xanth. Fragm.) His ar- 
guments are well refuted by Dahl- 
mann (Life of Herod, p. 91, E. T.). 

' See Col. Murc's Literature of 
Greece, vol. iv. pp. 305-7. 


and 4. The destruction of the fleet of Mardonius off 
Mount Athos. Of these four events, one only — the 
dream of Astyages — is really trivial; the others are 
such as every writer who gave an account of the 
struggle between Greece and Persia, would have felt 
himself called upon to mention, and of which, there- 
fore, both Charon and Herodotus must necessarily have 
given a description. With regard to the dream, we 
do not know in what words Charon related it, or 
whether his relation really coincided closely with the 
account given by Herodotus. TertulKan, who alone 
reports the agreement, speaks of it in general terms ;' 
and if it should be admitted that he means a close 
agreement, still it must be remembered that TertuUian, 
as a historical authority, is weak and of little credit. 
With regard to the other cases of agreement, it is 
certain that they were not either minute or exact. 
The Pseudo-Plutarch, indeed, overstates the difference 
between the writers when he represents Charon as in 
two of the passages contradicting Herodotus.* There 
is in neither case any real contradiction,* though the 
two writers certainly leave a different impression ; but 
what deserves particularly to be remarked is, that 
Herodotus on each occasion furnishes a number of 
additional details; so that although the narrative of 
Charon might (conceivably) have been drawn from 
his, it is impossible that his narrative should have been 
teken from that of Charon. With regard to the 
remaining passage, there is still further indication of 
disagreement. Charon must have made pigeons occupy 
a prominent place in his description of the destruction 
of the Persian armament, for his account of it led him 
to remark that " then first did white pigeons appear in 

' TertuUian, after relating the 
dream from Herodotus, merely says, 
"Hoc etiam Charon Lampsacenus, 
Hcjodoto prior, tradit." (De Anim. 
c. 46.) 

• Cf. Plut. de Malign. Herod, p. 
859 A, and p. 861 c.d. 

' See the notes on the passages in 
question, i. 160, and v. 102. 


Greece, which had been quite unknown previously." ^ 
It is needless to observe that in the narrative of 
Herodotus there is nothing upon which such a remark 
could hang. The circumstance, whatever it was, which 
led Charon to introduce such a notice, would seem to 
have been unknown to our author, whose love of 
marvels, whether natural or supernatural, would have 
prompted him to seize eagerly on an occasion of men- 
tioning so curious a fact of natural history. Further, 
it must be observed as tending at least to throw doubt 
on the supposed use of the great work of Charon by 
our author, that he was certainly unacquainted with 
Charon's "Annals of Lampsacus;" for, had he been 
aware that Pityusa (Fir-town) was the ancient name 
of that city — a fact put forward prominently by the 
Lampsacene writer ^ — he could not have failed to see 
the real point of the famous threat against the Lamp- 
sacenes made by Croesus, " that he would destroy their 
city like a JirJ" ^ It seems, therefore, to have been 
concluded on very insufficient grounds that Herodotus 
was indebted for a portion of his materials to Charon : 
he was certainly ignorant of some of that author's 
labours, and most probably had no knowledge of any 
of them.* It is even possible that Charon, no less than 

* Ft. 3 — preserved by Athenaeus 
(Deipn. ix. p. 394 e). Col. Mure 
strangely views this passage as one of 
those which most distinctly prove 
Herodotus to have been indebted to 
Charon, comparing it with Herod, i. 
138, and regarding both writers as 
bearing testimony to the " supersti- 
tious aversion of the Persians to wliite 
pigeons." But how does Charon's 
statement that "white pigeons first 
appeared in Greece at the time of 
Mardonius' failure," imply that the 
Persians looked on them with " su- 
perstitious aversion " ? 

* See the fragment, preserved by 

ment of MUller (Fr. Hist. Gr. vol. i. 
p. 33). 

• "ntrvorrpoTFoi/." Herod, vi. 37. 

* Col. Mure thinks that the work 
of Herodotus contains an allusion (vi. 
55) to Charon's * Si)artan Magistrates' 
(Lit. of Greece, vol. Iv. p. 306). 
Charon is, he observes, " the only 
author who is recorded to have treated 
of the subjects" which Herodotus 
there passes over as already considered 
by others. But even granting — what 
is not at all certain — that Charon's 
work contained an account of the 
ante-Dorian period, it is clear that he 
was not the only writer who had 

Plutarch (De Virt. Mulier. p. 255 a), treated of the subject, since Herodotus 
wluch is placed sixth in the arrange- in the passage itself refers to several. 



Chap. n. 

Xanthus, may have published his works subsequently 
to the time when Herodotus, with the first draft of his 
history completed, left Asia for Attica.* 

With regard to Dionysius of Miletus, the remaining 
author, whose works may be supposed to have been 
used largely by Herodotus, it is impossible to come to 
a conclusion by the aid of any such analysis as that 
which has served to negative the claims of Charon and 
Xanthus, since of Dionysius we do not possess any 
fragments.* His age is certainly such as to make it 
likely that Herodotus would have known of his writ- 
ings ;' but the absolute silence observed by our author 
with regard to him, and the probable bareness and 
scantiness of his narrative, contravene the notion that 
his historical works, however great an advance upon 
those of his predecessors, were found by Herodotus to 
be very valuable, either as materials for history or as 
models of style. As the earliest of the prose writers 
who turned his attention to the relation of actual facts, 

Col. Mure mistranslates Herodotus, 
when he represents him as saying '' he 
ahstains from tracing in detail the ori- 
gin or lineage of tiie Lacedaemonian 
kings, as that had been fully done by 
Others." What Herodotus abstains 
from tracing is not ** the origin and 
lineage of the Lacedaemonian kings," 
but &e establishment of the kingdom 
of Danaiis in the Peloponnese. This 
was a favourite subject with the my- 
thologers, whether ^ts or prose 
writers. See note to Book vi. ch. 55. 
* The age of Charon is very uncer- 
tain. The passage in Suidas which 
should fix his birth is corrupt, and 
this leaves us without any exact data 
for his period of writing. He is gene- 
rally said to have been earlier than 
Herodotus (Dionys. Hal. de Thuc. 
Jud. p. 769 ; Plut. de Malign. Her. 
p. 859 A ; Tertull. de An. c. 46), and 
Suidas makes his acme synchronise 
with the Persian war. But there is 
evidence that he composed history 
later than b.c. 465, since he spoke of 

the fiight of Themistocles to the court 
of Artaxerxes in that year. (Plut. 
Vit. Themistocl. c. 27.) Dionysius 
(1. s. c.) couples him with Hellanicus, 
who outlived the battle of Arginusas, 
B.C. 406, and according to one account 
resided at the court of Amyntas ILf 
who ascended the throne in B.C. 894. 
As Hellanicus was certainly a later 
writer than Herodotus, so Charon mAy 
have been. 

* Only two references to matters 
contained in the works of Dionysius 
have been discovered: one mentions 
him among the writers who considered 
Danaiis to have brought the alphabet 
to Greece, rather than Cadmus, and 
the other notices that he made the 
name of Mount Ha?mus neuter. (See 
Miiller's Fragm. Hist. Gr. vol. ii. p. 5.) 
Nothing is to be gathered from such 
scanty and insignificant data. 

' He was contemporary with Hcca- 
t«us (Suidas ad voc. 'E/coraloff),, with 
whom he is usually coupled. 


we may be sure that he fully shared in that dryness 
and jejuneness of composition, that Laconic curtness of 
narration, and that preference of the trivial over the 
important, which characterise the productions of the 
period.® Still Herodotus may have used this writer 
for the events wherewith he was contemporary, espe- 
cially for those of which Ionia was the scene, and of 
which Dionysius must have been an eye-witness ; and 
there is at any rate more likelihood of his having been 
under important obligations to this author than to any 
of those other historical writers from whom he has been 
thought to have borrowed. 

The only prose works with which Herodotus distinctly 
shows himself familiar are the " Grenealogies " and 
** Greography " of HecataBus, and the treatises of the 
mythologers. From these sources he may undoubtedly 
have drawn to some considerable extent ; but it is re- 
markable that he refers to Hecataeus chiefly in disparage- 
ment,* and to the mythological writers as relieving him 
from the necessity of entering upon a subject which had 
been discussed by them/ It must, therefore, on the 
whole be pronoimced that he probably owed but little 
to the historical literature of his country, which was 
indeed in its infancy, and can scarcely have contained 
much information of an authentic character which 
was not accessible to him in another manner. With 
the single exception of Dionysius, the Greek writers 
of history proper were so little removed from his own 
date, that the sources from which they drew were as 
accessible to him as to them. To the geographers he 
may have been more largely indebted. A writer of 
weak authority* accuses him of having copied word 
for word from Hecataeus his long descriptions of the 

' Soe the specimens given below, 
pi^es 148, 149. 
• See ii. 21, 23, 143, iv. 36. 

» Herod, vi. 55. 

' Porphyry, quoted by Eusebius 
(Praep. Ev. X. 3, vol. ii. p. 459). 




Chap. II. 

phoenix, the hippopotamus, and the mode of taking the 
crocodile. It seems, however, improbahle that he should 
have had recourse to another author for descriptions 
of objects and occurrences with which he was likely to 
have been well acquainted himself; and with regard to 
the phcBnix, his own words declare that his description 
is taken from a picture.' Still the (Geography of 
Hecataeus may probably have been of use to him in 
his accounts of places which he had not himself 
visited, as in his enumeration of the tribes inhabiting 
Northern Africa, which may have been drawn to 
some extent from that writer.* He also, it is evident, 
knew intimately the works of certain other geogra- 
phers, for whom however he does not express much 
respect.* It has been maintained that the genuine 
work of Scylax was, almost beyond a doubt, among 
the number ;• if so, Herodotus certainly evinced his 
judgment in contemptuously discarding the wonderful 
tales told by that writer concerning various strange races 
of men in remote parts of the world, which reduce his 
credibility below that of almost any other traveller.* 

• Herod, ii. 73. 

* Hecataeus roentioiied the Psylli, 
the Mazyes or Maxyes, the Zaneces, 
and the Zygantes as nations inhahiting 
these parts (see Fragments 303, 304, 
306, and 307), all of whom appear in 
Herodotus (iv. 173, 191, 193, and 

» See a. 15, 17, iv. 36, 42, 45. 

' See Mure's Literature of Greece, 
vol. iv. p. 309. Col. Mure says, that 
*' as several notices of Southern Africa 
and Asia, transmitted by later geo- 
graphers on the authority of Scylax, 
are identical in Substance with the 
accounts given by Herodotus of the 
same region, there is the less reason 
to doubt his having been acquainted 
with the original work of that enter- 
prising mariner." I do not under- 
stand to what notices he alludes. The 
onl^ passages, so far as I am aware, 
which can be referred with any degree 

of probability to the genuine Scylax, 
are Arist. FoL vii. 14 ; Harpocrat. ad 
voc. xm6 yrjs olKovyr€f ; rhilostrat. 
Vit Apoll. Tyan. iiL 47 ; and TzetBefl, 
Chil. vii. 144. To one only of tiiese, 
that in Harpocration (which speaks of 
Troglodytes), can Herodotus by any 
possibility allude. And even here £ 
should understand in Scylax, the 
Troglodytes of the Arabian Gulf (cf. 
Strab. xvi. p. 1103, 1107), in Hero- 
dotus (iv. 183) those of the interior 
(Strab. xvii. p. 1173). From the age 
of Scylax, and the near vicinity of 
his birthplace to Halicamassus, it 
seems likely that Herodotus would 
have known his works, if he wrote 
any. Perhaps it has not yet h&en 
quite satisfactorily established that 
the real Scylax left behind him any 

7 Scylax, or the writer upon India 
who assumed his name, asserted that 




There is more direct evidence* that Herodotus made 
use of Aristeas, an author who had written, under the 
name of " Arimaspea," a poem containing a good 
deal of geographical information concerning the 
countries towards the north of Europe, partly the 
result of his own personal ohservation. Undoubtedly 
he also profited from the maps whose construction he 
ridiculed ;• but which, rude and incorrect in detail as 
they may have been, could not have failed to be of 
immense service to him in clearing his views, and giving 
him the truejiotion of geographical description. 

In enumerating the sources from which Herodotus 
drew the materials of his work, it would be wrong to 
conjQne ourselves to a consideration of the early prose 
writers. It has been just noticed that one of the 
geographers to whom he was certainly beholden — 
Aristeas, the author of the Arimaspea — was a poet ; and 
there is reason to suspect that considerable portions 
of his historical narrative may have likewise had a 
poetical origin. Not to dwell on the poetic cast of 
BO much that he has written, which might perhaps be 
ascribed to the character of his own mind and to the 
fact that he modelled his style mainly on that of the 
poets — there are distinct grounds for believing that 
certain portions of his history, which are strongly 
marked by this character, had been previously made 
the subjects of their poetry by writers with whose 
compositions he was acquainted ; and in such cases it 
is but reasonable to suppose that he drew, to a greater 

there dwelt 5n that country men with 
feet of so large a size that they were 
in the hahit of using them as parasols 
(Philostr. 1. B. c.), and spoke of others 
whose ears were like winnowing-fans 
(Tzetzes, 1. s. c.). To the same writer 
are to be traced the fables, repeated 
afterwards by IMmachus and Megas- 
thenes (Strab. i. p. 105), concerning 
men in India who had only one eye, 

and others whose ears were so big that 
they slept in them (Tzetz. 1. s.c). 

» Herod, iv. 13. 

• Ibid. iv. 36. The first map known 
to the Greeks is said to have been con- 
structed by Anaximander (Apathem. 
i. 1), who lived about b.c. 600-530. 
Hecata^us greatly improved on it. 
Herodotus speaks of maps as common 
in his day (1. s. c). 

K 2 


or less extent, from them. The mention of Archi- 
lochus in connexion with the poetic legend of Gjges 
and Candaules cannot but raise a suspicion that the 
whole story, as given in Herodotus, may have come 
from him ;* while the notices of Solon,* Pindar,' Alcseus,^ 
and Simonides,* who all celebrated contemporary per- 
sons and events, seem to show that he made some use 
of their writings in compiling his narrative. Further, 
it may be conjectured that the Persian authors to whom 
he refers in several places as authorities on the subject 
of their early national history,* were poets, the composers 
of those national songs of which Xenophon,* Strabo,* 
and other writers • speak, wherein were celebrated the 
deeds of the ancient kings and heroes, and particularly 
those of the hero-founder of the Empire, Cyrus. 

Upon the whole, however, it must be pronounced 
that the real source of almost all that Herodotus has 
delivered down to us, whether in the shape of his- 
torical narrative or geographical description, was 
personal observation and inquiry. His accounts of 
countries are, in the great majority of cases, drawn 
from his own experience, and are full or scanty, 
according to the time which he had spent in the 
countries, in making acquaintance with their general 
character and special phenomena. Where he has not 
travelled himself, he trusts to the reports of others, 
but only, to all appearance, of eye-witnesses.^ If in any 

> Bahr supposes Herodotus to refer 
only to the single iambic line of Ar- 
chiiochus — oC fUH rh Tvytm rov iroXv- 
Xftvtrov ficXfft — which has come down 
to us through Aristotle and Plutarch. 

(Heo his note on Book 12.) And 
>rs. LiddcU and Scott assign the same 
ififanfrif^ to the word ta/lpof in the 
liMsago (ldix\o, p. 680). But it ap- 
iMirN ir> me that Hchwcighffiuser, 
tMrchnf, Mu\ the translators generally 
*f« r\ii,Ui 111 u,\y\un the wprd here the 
iMffiM- ritrtiilMly lionie by it in later 
M«iM'« vf Hit Uiiiblo jHjetn, 

• Herod, v. 113. 

• Ibid. iii. 38. 

• Ibid. V. 95. 

» Ibid. V. 102, vii. 228. 

• Ibid. i. 1-6, 95, 214 ad fin. 
' Cyrop. I. ii. § 1. 

• Book XV. p. 1041. 

• As Athenseus, who quotes Dino 
to the same effect. (Deipoosoph. xiv, 
p. 633 D.) 

• This is not always expressed, but 
it appears from his refusal to accept 
of any statements or descriptions as 
certain, unless reoeiyed from an eye- 

Chap. IL 



case lie gives mere rumours which have come to him 

at second-hand, he is careful to distinguish them from 

his ordinary statements and descriptions.^ He seems 

to have heen indefatigable in laying under contribution 

all those with whom his active and varied Ufe brought 

him in contact,^ and deriving from them information 

concerning any regions un visited by himself, with which 

they professed themselves acquainted. And as it was 

by these means that he gathered the materials for the 

geographical portion of his work, so by a very similar 

method he obtained the facts which he has worked up 

into his history. Herodotus, it must be remembered, 

Hved and wrote within a century of the time when hi^ 

direct narrative may be said to commence, viz., the 

first year of Cyrus. The true subject of his history— 

the Persian War of Invasion — ^was yet more recent, 

its commencement falling less than fifty years from 

the time of his writing. He would thus stand in 

regard to his main subject somewhat in the position 

of a writer at the present day who should determine 

to compose an original history of the last war with 

Napoleon, while, in respect of the earlier portion of his 

direct narrative, he would resemble one who should 

make his starting-point the accession of George III. to 

the throne. Abundant living testimony would thus, it 

is plain, be accessible to him for the later and more 

important portion of his history, while for the middle 

portion he would be able to get a certain amount of 

such evidence, which would fail him entirely for the 

witness. Hence his reluctance to 
allow of a sea to the north of Europe 
(iii. 115, ou^ci/off ttvToiTTco) ytvo- 
fifvov ov dwafuu oKovaai ; compare iv. 
45), and his refusal to describe the 
coTintries above Scythia (iv. 10, ov- 

tvyafuu irvBifrBat), or those above 
the Argippapans (iv. 25), and Tsaedo- 
niaus (ibid.). Certain knowledge (r6 

arptKti) seems to mean knowledge 
thus derived. (See iii. 98, 116; iv. 
16 25 • V. 9.) 

i See ii.' 32, 33 ; Iv. 16, 24, 26-27, 

* Marked indications of this prac- 
tice of inquiry will be found in the 
following passages : ii. 19, 28, 29, 34, 
104 ; iii. 115 ; iv. 16. 


early period. Even then, however, he might obtain 
from living persons the accomits which they had 
received from those who took active part in the trans- 
actions. This, accordingly, is what Herodotus seems to 
have done. Travelling over Europe and Asia, he every- 
where made inquiries from the various parties concerned 
in the matters about which he was writing ; and from 
the accounts which he thus received, compared and 
balanced against each other, he composed his narra- 
tive. Where contemporary evidence failed him, or 
even where it was scanty, he extended his inquiries, 
endeavouring in each case to arrive at the truth by 
sifting and comparing the different reports,* and often 
deriving his information from the sons or grandsons 
of those who had been personally engaged in the 
transactions. The stories of Thersander* and of 
Archias* are respectively specimens of the maimer 
in which he gained his knowledge of the more recent 
and the earlier facts which enter into his narrative. 
Of course the more remote the events the more depend- 
ent he became upon mere general tradition and belief, 
which, imless in the bare outline of matters of great 
public concern^ or in cases where the popular belief 
is checked and supported by documentary evidence 
of some kind or other, is an authority of the least 
trustworthy character. Before dismissing this subject 
it will, therefore, be desirable to consider what amount 
of such evidence existed among the various nations 
into whose earlier history Herodotus pushed his in- 
quiries, and how far it was accessible to himself or to 
those from whom he derived his information. 

In Greece itself it is certain that there existed monu- 
mental records of two different kinds, containing un- 

* See i. 1-5, 20, 70, 75, 95, 1 vii. 150, 213, 214 ; viii. 94, 117-120 ; 
214; ii. 3. 147; iii. 1-3, 9, 32, ' "' 
'" 66, 120-121; iv. 5-13, 150- 
y. 44, 67, 85, 86; vi. 53; 


ix. 74. 

• Book ix. chs. 15, 16. 

• Book iii. ch. 55. 

Cbap. U. 



doubtedly but few details, yet still of great importance, 
as furnishing fixed points about which the national 
traditions might cluster, and as checks upon the inven- 
tiveness of fabulists. The earliest were the lists of 
kings, priests, and victors at the games, preserved in 
some of the principal cities and sanctuaries,' which 
formed in after times a basis for the labours of chrono- 
logers,^ and carried up a skeleton of authentic history 
to the return of the HeraclidsB. Besides these, there 
were to be found in the various temples, agorae, and 
other public places throughout Greece, particularly in 
the fireat national sanctuaries of Delphi and Olympia, 
a vaTBumber of inscribed oflFerings-lmany of them of 
great antiquiiy — containing in their dedicatory inscrip- 
tions curious and in some instances detailed notices of 
historical events, of the utmost value to the historian. 
Of the latter class of moniunents Herodotus shows him*- 
self to have been a diligent observer, and considerable 
portions of his history are authenticated in this satisfac- 
tory manner. To instance in a single book — the in- 
dependence of Phrygia under a royal line affecting the 
names of Midas and Grordias, the wealth and order of 
succession of the last or Mermnade dynasty of Lydian 

7 As the public registers (dva- 
ypa(l>aX) at Sparta (Plut. Vit. Ages. 
c. li)), containing the names of all the 
kings, and (prolibly) the number of 
years they reigned — ^the ancient chro- 
nicles {dpvaia ypafJLfutra) at Elis 
(Pausan. V. iv. § 4)---the registers at 
Sicyon and Argos (Plut de Mus. p. 
1134 A. B.)— the list of the Olympian 
victors from the time of Coraebus, pre- 
senred in the sanctuary of Jupiter at 
Olympia (Pausan. V. viii. § 3 ; Euseb. 
Chron. Can. Pars 1. c. zxxii.) — that 
of the Camean victors at Sparta 
(Athen. xiv. p. 635 E.)— and that of 
the archons at Athens (Polyb. xii. 
xii. § 1). 

• Charon's work on the 'Qiief 

Rulers of Sparta * was probably taken 
from the ancient registers of the Lacc- 
dasmonians (see 0. MUUer's Dorians, 
vol. i. p. 160, E. T. ; and C. Muller*s 
Fr. Hist. Gr., vol. i. p. xviii.). Hel- 
lanicus in his * Priestesses of Juno,' 
and his * Camean Victors,* followed 
no doubt the authentic catalogues at 
Sparta and Argos. Timaeus compared 
Uie lists of archons at Athens, kings 
and ephors at Sparta, and priestesses 
at Argos, with the catalogue of the 
Olympic victors (Polyb. 1. s. c). 
Eratosthenes and Apollodorus seem 
to have founded their early Greek 
chronology, first on the list of Spartan 
kings, and then on the Olympic cata- 
logue. (Mdller*s Dorians, I. s. c.) 



GiiAP. IL 

kings, the enormous riches of Croesus, the friendly terms 
on which he stood with Sparta, and his great devotion 
to the Greek shrines ; the escape of Arion from ship- 
wreck, the filial devotion of Cleobis and Bito, and the re- 
pulse of the Spartans by the Tegeans on their first attempt 
to conquer Arcadia, are all supported by this kind of 
tertimo^y within the sp^ of «ven,y chapte™ alter 
the history opens.* More important than any of these 
instances is that of the two pillars of Darius, which 
contained an a<5Count, both in Greek and in Persian, of 
the forces wherewith that monarch crossed the Bos- 
phorus, and which were seen by Herodotus, in detached 
pieces, at Byzantium.^ Of equal consequence was the 
famous tripod, part gold and part bronze, which the 
confederate Greeks dedicated after the victory of Plataea 
to Apollo at Delphi, whereon were inscribed the names 
of the various states who took part against the Persians 
in the great struggle, from which Herodotus was able 
to authenticate his lists of the combatants.* Other monu- 
ments of the same kind are known to have existed,* and 
in addition to them, historical paintings, whether in the 
shape of votive tablets, as that dedicated by Mandrocles 
the Samian in the temple of Juno. at Samos,* or of mere 
ornaments, as those wherewith Pericles adorned the 
Poecile," would serve as striking memorials of particu- 
larly important occurrences. From these and similar 
sources of information Herodotus would be able to check 
the accoimts orally delivered to him, and in some cases 
to fill them up with accuracy. It haa been said that 
he " was by no means so zealous an investigator of this 

• See i. 14, 24, 25, 31, 50-2, 66, 
69. Further instances of the careful 
observance by Herodotus of such me- 
morials will be found i. 92 ; ii. 181, 
182 ; iii. 47 ; iv. 15, 152 ; v. 59-61, 
77 ; vi. 14 ; vii. 228 ; and in the passages 
noted below. 

» Cf. iv. 87. 

• This inscription has been recently 
recovered. See notes on viii. 82, and 

ix. 84. 

' As the colossal statue of Jupiter 
at Olympia, on the base of which 
were also engraved the names of the 
Greeks who combated the Persians. 
Sec Pausan. V. xxiii. § 1, and compare 
note to book ix. ch. 28. 

* Herod, iv. 88. 

* Pausan. I. xv. 




class of monuments as might have been desired ;" • and 
undoubtedly it would have been highly interesting to 
ourselves had his work contained fuller and more exact 
descriptions of them. But it may be questioned whether 
his history would not have been injured as a composi- 
tion by a larger infusion of the element of antiquarian- 
ism. We are not to conclude that his inquiries were 
limited to the monuments of the contents of which he 
makes distinct mention, since he does not go on the 
general plan of parading the authorities for his state- 
ments ; and, with regard to some of the most important 
of the monumental records which he cites, it is only 
casually and as it were by accident that he lets us see 
he was acquainted with them.^ His practice of ob- 
serving is sufficiently apparent, and it is but fair to 
presume that he carried it to a far greater extent than 
can be exactly proved from his writings. It is certain 
that he visited all the most important of the Greek 
shrines,® and when there, his inquisitive turn of mind 
would naturally lead him to make a general examina- 
tion of the offerings. If we view his references to 
these objects, not as intended for an enumeration of all 
that he had seen, but as a set of specimens, indicating 
the range and general character of his inquiries, we 
shall probably form a far truer estimate of his labours in 
this respect than if we regarded his investigations as 
only extending just so far as we can distinctly trace 
them. So too with respect to the other class of monu- 
ments — the public registers, containing the lists of 

• Mare's Literature of Greece, vol. 
iv. p. 312. 

' If Herodotus had not happened, 
in speaking of the desertion to the 
GrecK side of a Tenian vessel before 
ttie battle of Salamis (viii. 82), to no- 
tice the inscription of the Tenians 
upon the Delphic tripod on that ac- 
count, it might have been doubtful 
whether he had seen, or noticed, that 
most important monument. In his ' 

direct account of the dedication of the 
tripod (ix. 81) he says nothing of its 
having borne any inscription. 

• As Delphi (i. 14, 19, 25. &c.). Do- 
dona (ii. 62), Aba) Mii. 27), Tajna- 
mra (i. 24), Apollo Ismenius at 
Thebes (i. 52 ; v. 59), Juno at Samoa 
ii. 182 ; iii. 60), Diana at Ephesus 
i. 92), Venus at Cyrene (ii. 181), 
Erechtheus at Athens (viii. 55 ; comp. 
V. 77), Apollo at Thornax (i. 09), &c. 




kings, priests, archons, &c. — it would be a mistake to 
suppose that he had not seen them because he nowhere 
quotes them as authorities. It is impossible that they 
should have been unknown to him, or when known 
have failed to attract his attention; and we might 
therefore conclude, even without any evidence direct 
or indirect, that he must have made use of them to 
some extent. As the case stands, we may go a step 
further, and regard it as in the highest degree pro- 
bable that in tracing the royal descent of the Spartan 
kings to Hercules,* Herodotus followed the authority 
of the Lacedaemonian anagraphs; and if so, we may 
perhaps refer to the same source his general notions of 
Greek chronology.^ 

The foreign countries whose history Herodotus em- 
braced in his general scheme, present in regard to their 
monumental records all possible varieties, from entire 
defect to the most copious abundance. Egypt, Baby- 
lonia, and Persia, the most important of them, possessed 
in their inscriptions upon rocks, temples, palaces, 
papyrus-rolls, bricks, and cylinders, a series of con- 
temporary documents, extending, in the case of the 
last-mentioned, to the foundation of the monarchy, and 
in the other two going back to a far higher actual date, 
though not to a period so early in the lives of the 
nations. The recent discoveries in Mesopotamia, which 
have so completely authenticated the historical scheme 
of Berosus both in its outline and its details,* prove that 

• Herod, vii. 204 ; viu. 131. 

^ It is evident that Herodotus did 
not obtain his dates for the times of 
Hercules and of the Trojan war from a 
mere computation by generations ; for 
the 21 generations from Leonidas to 
Hercules (vii. 204), reckoned accord- 
ing to his own estimate of three gene- 
rations to the century (ii. 142), would 
give for the time of the hero little 
more than 700 years before Herodotus, 
instead of 900, which is his calculation 

(ii. 146). He must therefore have 
possessed some more definite cdirono- 
logical basis, which may have been 
furnished by the Spartan registers, if 
(as 0. Miiller conjectures, Dor. vdL i. 
p. 150) they contained not merely the 
names of the kings, but the length of 
their reigns. 

' See the Essays on Babylonian 
and Assyrian History, appended to 
book i. Essays vi. and vii. 



to the Babylonians the history of their country as 
written upon its monuments was open, and could be 
traced back with accuracy for 2000 years before it 
merged into mere myth and fable. In Egypt a still 
earlier date is said to have been reached, and — ^what- 
ever may be thought of the historical character of the 
more ancient kings — at least from the time of the 
eighteenth dynasty, which is anterior to the Exodus 
of the Jews, the monuments contained contemporary 
records of the several monarchs, and abundant mate- 
rials for an exact and copious history.* In Persia, 
which, on starting into life, succeeded to the inherit- 
ance of Assyrian and Babylonian civilisation, writing 
seems to have been in use from the first, and the sculp- 
tured memorials, which still exist, of Cyrus, Darius, 
and Xerxes are evidences of the fact witnessed by 
Herodotus in several places,* that monumental records 
were in common use imder the early Achaemenian kings. 
These seem to have consisted not only of grand public 
inscriptions upon pillars, rocks, tombs, and palaces,* but 
also of more private and more copious documents, pre- 
served in the treasuries of the empire, at Babylon, 
Susa, Ecbatana, &c.,* and written upon skins or parch- 
ment,' which contained a variety of details concerning 

* See the Historical Notice of Egyi^t 
in the Appendix to book ii. 

* Book iii. 136; book iv. chs. 87 
and 91 ; book vii. ch. 100 ; book viii. 
eh. 90. 

* Rock inscriptions of Darius re- 
main at Behistuu and at Elwand, 
near Hamadan ; similar memorials of 
Xerxes are found at Elwand, and at 
Van in Armenia. The tomb of Da- 
rius at Nakhsh-i-Rustam has one per- 
fect and one imperfect inscription — 
neither however, apparently, tnat re- 
corded by Strabo ^xv. p. 1036). The 
tomb of Cyrus had an inscription, as 
we learn both from Strabo (I. s. c.) 
and Arrian (vi. 29 ; see note on book 
i. ch. 214), and the area which en- 
cloeed it is still marked by pillars on 

which we read the words, "I am 
Cyrus the king — the Achfemenian." 
The great palace at Persepolis contains 
no fewer than four inscrii)tions of 
Darius and four of Xerxes, as well 
as others belonging to later kings. 
Pillar inscriptions are mentioned by 
Herodotus (iv. 87 and 91), but their 
more perishable nature has caused 
them generally to disappear. 

• See Ezra, v. 17 ; vi. 1-2. These 
records or chronicles are frequently 
mentioned by the Jewish historians. 
See, besides the above passages, Ezra 
iv. 15, 19 ; Esther ii. 23 ; vi. 1 ; 
Apoc. Esdr. vi. 23. 

^ AKJiBtpaX ^aiXiKoi is the name 
under which Ctesias spoke of them 
(ap. Diod. Sic. ii. 32). He says they 



Chap. II. 

the court and empire, of the greatest interest to the 
historian.^ In Scjthia, on the other hand, and among 
the rude tribes who inhabited Northern Africa, writing 
of any kind was probably unknown, and the traditions 
of the natives were altogether destitute of confirmation 
from monumental sourcea Other nations occupied an 
intermediate position between these extremes of abun- 
dance and want. Media from the time of Cyaxares,* 
Lydia,* Phrygia,* and the kingdoms of Western Asia 
generally,* were undoubtedly acquainted with letters ; 

oontdned a regalar digest of the an- 
cient Persian history (riis nakatas 
npd(€it amrrerayfUvasX and that the 
keeping of them was enforced by law. 

" AmcHig the contents of the Royal 
Chronicles may be confidently enu- 
merated all decrees made by any king 
(Ezr. V. 17 ; vi. 2-3), all signal ser- 
vices of any subject (Esth. vi. 1-2 ; 
comp. Herod, viii. 85 and 90), cata- 
logues of the troops brought into the 
field on great occasions (Herod, vii. 
100), statements of the amount of 
revenue to be drawn from each of the 
provinces (comp. Herod, iii. 90-94), 
&c. Heeren (As. Nat. i. p. 86) sup- 
poses, that *' all the king's words and 
actions** were placed upon record, 
and calls the Chronicles "Diaries," 
but this view is not supported by his 
authorities. The royal scribes (ypafi- 
fiaTurrai) seem certainly to have been 
in constant attendance upon the king 
(sec, besides Herod, vii. 100, and viii. 
90, Esther iii. 12, and viii. 9), and 
were ready ijo record any remarkable 
occurrence, but it is not probable that 
they were bound to enter the events 
of each day. 

• No strictly Median records have 
come down to us, nor have we posi- 
tive proof of any acquaintance on the 
part of the Medes with letters. ITie 
ancient portions of the Zendavesta, 
which belonged to them in common 
with other nations of the Arian 
stock, were certainly handed down by 
niomorv. lUit it can hardly be sup- 
posed that after the conquest of As- 
">yCyaxares, the Medes would 

remain witboat an alphabet. Pro- 
bably the Persian alphabet is that 
framed by the Arian Medes on com- 
ing in contact with the Assyrians. 
The Persians would naturally adopt it 
from them on their oonc^uest of Media. 

' No Lydian inscriptions have been 
as yet discovered, though the tomb 
of Alyattes, which had inscriptions 
in the time of Herodotus (i. 93), has 
been carefully explored (see note ^ to 
book i. ch. 93). The Lydians, how- 
ever, are likely to have used letters 
at least as early as the Asiatic Greeks. 

■ Several rhrygian inscriptions, 
chiefly epitaphs, have been discovered 
in the country. They are all pro- 
bably more ancient than the Persian 
conquest of Asia Minor. The only 
one of much importance is the in- 
scription on the tomb of king Midas 
at Dogardn. (See note ' on book i. cb. 
14, and compare the last Essay in 
this volume.) 

' As Lycia, Cilicia, and Armenia. 
The Lycian writing appears on coins 
and inscriptions, which are abundant, 
but which seem to be none earlier 
than the time of Croesus (Fellows's 
Lycian Coins ; Chronolog. Table). Ci- 
lician writing is found on coins only. 
Armenia has some important rock in- 
scriptions. They are found in the 
neighbourhood of Van, and belong to 
a dynasty of native kings, who ap- 
pear to have reigned during the 
seventh and eighth centuries B. c. (See 
Col. Kawlinson's Commentary on the 
Cuneiform Inscriptions of I&bylonia 
and Assyria, p. 75.) 

Chap. II. 



but there is no reason to believe that they were in pos- 
fiession of any very ancient or very important written 
records. Monumental remains of an early date in these 
countries are either entirely deficient, or at best ex- 
tremely scanty, and such of them as possessed a native 
literature betrayed, by the absurdity and mythic cha- 
racter of their annals, a lamentable Want of authentic 
materials for their early history.* Our chief inquiry in 
the present place will therefore be how far Herodotus, 
or those from whom he derived his information, may 
be presumed to have had access to the monumental 
stores which existed in such abundance in Egypt, 
Babylon, and in various parts of the Persian empire, 
and fit)m which, in two cases out of the three, authentic 
histories were actually composed more than a centuiy 
later by natives of the countries in question.* 

With regard to Egypt, Herodotus has distinctly 
stated that his informants were the priests.* The 
sacerdotal body attached to the service of the temple 
of Phtha at Memphis furnished him with the bulk 
of his early Egyptian history; and he was further 
at the pains to test the accounts which he received 
from this quarter by seeking information on the same 
points from the priests of Amun at Thebes, and of Ra 
at Heliopolis. It may perhaps be questioned whether 
he obtained access to the ecclesiastics of the highest 
rank and greatest learning in Egypt, or only to certain 
subordinates and underlings; but even in the latter 
case he would draw his narrative from persons to whom 
the monumental history of their country was open, for 
this history was recorded without concealment upon the 
temples and other public edifices. What prevented his 

* The fragments of Xanthus Lydus 
prove the Lydian annals to have run 
np into myth at a time not much 
preceding Gyges. The Armenian his- 
tories of Moees of Chordn^ and others, 
are yet more completely fahulous. 

• By Manetho the Sehennyte, and 
Berosus the Babylonian, both con- 
temporaries of Alexander. 

• Herod, ii. 3, 99, 118, 136, 142, 




Egyptian history from having a great-er character of 
authenticity waa, not the ignorance, but the dishonesty 
of his informants, who purposely exaggerated the glories 
of their nation, and concealed its disgraces and defeats. 
It is perhaps on the whole more likely that he had his 
historical information from the highest than from any 
inferior quarter. His own rank and station, the cir- 
cumstances under which he visited Egypt,* his entire 
satisfaction with his information,^ and the harmony 
which he found in the accoimts given him in remote 
places,* all seem to favour the supposition that he ob- 
tained access to the chief persons in the Egyptian 
hierarchy, who however took advantage of his sim- 
plicity and ignorance of the language, whether spoken 
or written,^ to impose upon him such a history of their 
country as they wished to pass current among the 
Greeks. Accordingly they magnified their antiquity 
beyond even their own notions of it,* reading him long 

7 Supra, p. 13. 

' Herodotus calls his informants 
throughout " the priests" — not ** cer- 
tain priests." It belongs to his sim- 
plicity to use no exaggeration in such 
a matter. Again, he goes to Helio- 
polis because the priests there were 
Alyvnrimp XoyiSraroi^ and 
receives information from those whom 
he so characterises (ii. 3). 

• See ii. 4. ItdflfXtyop iSfioXo- 
ytovT^s a" <f> iari. As this har- 
mony was not the natural agreement 
of truth, it could only be the artificial 
agreement of concerted falsehood. The 
priests of Memphis must have pre- 
pared their brethren of Thebes and 
Heliopolis for the inquiries of the 
curious Greek, and have instructed 
them as to the answers which they 
should give. Such communications 
would most naturally take place be- 
tween the leading members of the 
sacerdotal colleges. 

* That Herodotus did not under- 
the written character, is evident 

mentioning tlmt the inscrip- 

tion on the pyramid of Cheops was 
translated to him by his interpreter 
(ii. 125). His ignorance of the Bpoken 
language appears from his mistrans- 
lations of particular words, as of Pi- 
romis, which he renders "gentle- 
man'' (KaK6s Kaya069)f whereas it 
meant simply ** man " or *' human 

* See Herod, ii. 100 and 142-3. 
By representing their priests as 
equally numerous with their kings, 
and declaring the priesthood to have 
descended in ^he direct line from 
father to son, the Memphite inform- 
ants of Herodotus gave him the no- 
tion that a settled monarchy had en- 
dured in Egypt for above 11,000 
years. Their own records, even 
making no allowance for contem- 
porary kings or dynasties, gave a 
total of little more than 5000 years ; 
and (according to Syncellus) Mane- 
tho, n^aking some allowance on both 
scores, reduced the time between 
Menes and Herodotus to less than 
3500 years. 

Chap. 11. 



lists of monarchs whom they represented as consecutive, 
whereas they knew them to have been often contem- 
porary. They concealed from him altogether the dark 
period in their history — ^the time of their oppression 
mider the Hyksos, or shepherd-kings — of which he 
obtained but a single dim and indistinct glimpse,^ not 
furnished him apparently by the priests, but by the 
memory of the people. They knowingly falsified their 
monuments by assigning a late date to the pyramid- 
kings,^ whom they disliked, by which they flattered 
themselves that they degraded them. They distorted 
the true narrative of Sennacherib's miraculous discom- 
fiture, and made it tend to the glorification of one of 
their own body.* They succeeded in concealing all 
other invasions of their territory by the kings of 
Assyria and Babylon, even when subsequent to the 
settlement of the Greeks in their country.* Again, 
they were willing, in order to flatter their Greek allies, 
to bend their history into accordance with the mytho- 
logy of the Hellenic race, and submitted even to manu- 
facture a monarch for the express purpose of accommo- 
dating their inquisitive friends.' Thus in spite of the 
abundance of monumental records from which the 
Egyptian informants of our author had it in their 
power to draw, his Egyptian history is full of error. 

* In the tradition, noticed in book 
ii. ch. 128, that the pyramids were 
the work of *' the shepherd Philition " 
(see note ad loc.). This tradition, 
which conflicted with the account re- 
ceived from the priests, is ascribed by 
Herodotos to ** the Egyptians.*' 

♦Herod, ii. 124-9. The priests 
seem to have placed the pyramid- 
kings — who really intervened between 
Menea and Nitocris — as late as they 
ooald venture to do without incurriug 
a great riak of detection. As a re- 
markable inscription of Asychis 
(Herod, ii. 136) made express men- 
tion of the Bt(me pyramids, it would 

have been rash to state that their 
builders lived later than that monarch. 

» Sethos (Herod, ii. 141). 

' As that of Nebuchadnezzar in the 
reign of Apries (Joseph. Ant. Jud. x. 
10 ; Beros. Fr. 14 ; compare Jercm. 
xlvi, 25-6 ; Ezek. xxix. 19 ; xxx. 24- 
5). Several of the Assyrian mon- 
archs, besides Sennacherib, attacked 
or received tribute from Egypt, as 
Shalmanu-bara (the black obelisk 
king) and Sargon. 

7 Proteus, a name which bears no 
resemblance to auy of those in Ma- 
netho's lists. 



Chap. IL 

because they intentionally garbled and falsified their 
own annals, while he, from his ignorance of their 
language, was unable to detect the imposture.® Still, 
where national vanity or other special causes did not 
interfere, the history will be found to be fairly au- 
thentic. The kings themselves appear, with but one 
or two exceptions,* in the lists of Manetho, and upon 
the monuments ; the chronological order of their reigns 
is preserved with a single dislocation ; * the periods of 
prosperity and oppression are truly marked ; * the great 
works are assigned for the most part to their real 
authors; even the extravagance of the chronology is 
not without a historic basis, marking as it does the fact, 
confirmed by Manetho, that the Egyptians could pro- 
duce a catalogue of several hundred persons who had 
borne the title of king in their country between Menes 
and the Ramesside monarchs,' Hence, when the mo- 
numents are silent, and the statements of Herodotus 
are not incompatible with those of Manetho, they 
possess considerable weight, and may fairly be accept^ 
as having at least a basis of truth. They come from 
persons who had means of knowing the real history of 
their country, and who did not falsify it wantonly or 
unless to serve a purpose ; they may therefore be taken 
to be correct in their general outline except where they 

' It may be doubted whether even 
the interpreters could read the hiero- 
glyphics. Most probably they only 
understood the demotic character. 

* Proteus, Anysis, and Sethos are 
the only monarchs whose names can- 
not be recognised among Manetho^s 
kings. One of these (Anysis) can 
be otherwise identified. He is cer- 
tainly Bocchoris. 

' That of the Pyramid-Kings. See 
note * on the last page. 

■ The glory of the I^amesside dy- 
nasties (19th and 20th of Manetho) is 
distinctly indicated by the expeditions I 
of Sesostris and the wealth of Rhamp- I 

sinitus. The sufferings at the time 
of the Exodus seem to be mythically 
expressed by the blindness of Phero. 
The oppression endured under the py- 
ramid builders is undoubtedly a fact. 
The decline of the empire tmder the 
Tanite kings is marked by the general 
poverty in the reign of Asychis. 

' Manetho has between four and 
five hundred kings during this inter- 
val. With a deduction on account of 
two peculiarly suspicious cases (Dyn. 
7. 70 kings, in 70 days ; and Dyn. 17. 
43 kings, shepherds, and 43 kings, The- 
bans), the number remaining is 354, a 
near approach to the 330 of Herodotus. 

C^AP. IT. 



subserve national vanity or have otherwise a suspicious 
appearance. On these grounds the reign of Sethos in 
some part of Egypt, and the dodecarchy, for which 
Herodotus is the sole authority, may perhaps be entitled 
to rank as historic facts, though unconfirmed by other 

In Babylon Herodotus appears to have obtained some 
of his information from the Chaldaeans attached to the 
temple of Belus,* who were persons to whom the real 
history of their native land must undoubtedly have 
been familiar. It is however very doubtful whether he 
derived much of his information from this quarter.^ 
His Babylonian history may be said to be correct in 
outline,* and tolerably exact in certain important par- 
ticulars.' Still it contains some most remarkable mis- 
takes,^ which seem to show either that the persons from 
whom he derived his materials were not well versed in 
their country's annals, or that he misunderstood their 
communications. The mistakes in question, it is worthy 
of special remark, imlike those which disfigure his 

* See Herod. L 181, suh Jin, and 

* The only information expressly 
ascribed to the Chaldaeans consists of 
details respecting the temple of Belus. 
Herodotus does not say whence he de- 
rived his historical materials. 

' Carrying back Babylonian his- 
tory for some seven hundred years, 
he noticed, in the first place, two pe- 
riods; one — the first — during which 
it was under Assyria, yet had sove- 
reigns of its own, like Semiramis (i. 
184) ; the other, during which it was 
independent (i. 106, 178). The pe- 
riod of independence he knew to be 
little more than two generations (com- 
pare i. 74 and 188) ; — that of sub- 
jection he was aware exceeded six 
centuries. This latter he also divided 
(as Berosos does) into two portions, a 
lonper, and a shorter one ; while As- 
syria was a great empire, and while she 
was only a powerful kingdom. This 
division appears to correspond to the 


Upper and Lower Assyrian dynasties 
of Berosus. 

f As in the duration of the first 
Assyrian dynasty — where his 520 
years (i. 95) manifestly represent 
the (more exact) 526 years of Berosus 
(ap. Euseb. Chron. Can. pars I. cap. 
iv.) ; in the commencement of the 
independence on the destruction of 
Nineveh (i. 178) ; in the name of the 
last king (Labynetus = Nabu-nit), 
and the circumstances of the capture 
of Babylon (i. 191) ; in the time of 
Semiramis (i. 184), &c. 

* Particularly the following: — 1. 
That Labynetus (^Nabunit) was the 
son of a former king, and of a queen 
(Nitocris) ; 2. That he immediately 
succeeded the latter ; 3. That the Ba- 
bylonian monarch, contemporary with 
Cyaxares, was also named Labynetus ; 
4. That he was the father of the last 
king ; and'5. That queens ever ruled 
at Babylon in their own name. 



Chap. n. 

Egyptian history, occur in the most recent portion of 
the narrative, where conscious falsification would have 
heen most easy of detection, and therefore least likely 
to have heen adventured on. It seems prohahle that 
Herodotus paid but a single hasty visit to the Mesopo- 
tamian capital, and when there he may have found 
a diflSculty in obtaining a qualified interpreter/ He 
would also, as a Greeks be destitute of any particular 
claim on the attention of the Babylonian savansy and 
he would therefore naturally be left to pick up the bulk of 
his information from those who made a living by show- 
ing the town and its remarkable buildings to strangers. 
The quality of the historical information possessed by 
such informants may be judged by the reader's expe- 
rience of this class of persons at the present ietj. 
Herodotus no doubt endeavoured to penetrate into a 
more learned circle, but the Babylonians of the time 
would have been destitute of any of those motives^ 
whether of gratitude or of self-interest, which induced 
the Egyptian priests to lay aside their reserve, and 
consent to gratify the curiosity of their Greek auxiliaries. 
It must be confessed, at any rate, that in the Babylonian 
history of our author we find but few traces of that 
exact and extensive knowledge of their past condition 
which the Chaldaean priest-caste certainly possessed^ 
and which enabled Berosus, more than a century later, 
to produce a narrative, extending over a space of above 
fifteen hundred years, which has been lately confirmed 
in numerous instances by contemporary documents, and 
which appears to have been most completely authentic. 

* The Greek refligees in Persia 
would study Persiaa, the ofiScial lan- 
guaee» rather than any other. The 
ChaTdfBuis on the other hand would 
speak the Semitic dialect of the in- 
seriptionsy and understand the ancient 
Boythio language of their country, hut 
would have little knowledge of Per- 
sian. The communications hetwcen 

Herodotus and the Chaldaean priests 
would he much like those whicn take 
^ace now-a-days hetween inquisitive 
European travellers and grave Pekin 
Mandarins, through the intorention 
of some foreign settler at Canton, who 
has picked up a slight smattering of 
the local colloquial dialect. 



The Persian informants of Herodotus seem to have 
consisted of the soldiers and officials of various ranks, 
with whom he necessarily came in contact at Sardis 
and other places, where strong bodies of the dominant 
people were maintained constantly. He was born and 
bred up a Persian subject ; and though in his own city 
Persians might be rare visitants, everywhere beyond 
the limits of the Grecian states they formed the official 
class, and in the great towns they were even a con- 
siderable section of the population.* This would be the 
case not only in Asia Minor, but still more in Babylon 
and Susa, where the court passed the greater portion 
of the year — ^both which cities Herodotus seems to have 
visited.' There is no reason to believe that he ever set 
foot in Persia Proper, or was in a country where the 
Arian element preponderated. Hence his mistakes 
with regard to the Persian religion,' which he con- 
founded with the Scythic worship of Susiana, Armenia, 
and Cappadocia. Still he would enjoy abundant op- 
portunities of making himself acquainted with the 
views entertained on the subject of their previous his- 
tory by the Persians themselves — from his ready access 
to them in his earlier years, from the number of Greeks 
who understood their language, and, above all, from 
the existence of native historians to whose works he 

* See Herod, v. 100-1 ; vi. 4 and 

■ The visit of Herodotus to Baby- 
lon, althongh doubted by some, is (I 
think) certain, not merely from the 
minuteness of his descriptions (i. 178- 
183), but from several little touches ; 
e. g, 1. The expression in oh. 183, '' as 
the Chaldeans 9aid ** (&r ?X c y o v tl 
XaXdaibc), which can only mean " as 
they told me when I was there,^* 2. 
The remark in the same chapter with 
regard to the colossal statue of Bel, 
made of solid gold (comp. Dan. iii. 1), 
which once stood in the sacred enclo- 
sure of the great temple of Belus — " I 
did not see it " (cyo>/i(V lup wk tldov). 

which has no force nor fitness except 
in contrast to the other tilings i)re- 
viously described, which he must 
mean to say that he did see ; and 3. 
The statement in ch. 193, that he re- 
frained from mentioning the size of 
the millet and sesame plants, because 
he knew that those who had not visited 
the country would not believe what he 
had previously related of the produce. 
The visit to Susa rests mainly on vi. 
119 ; it receives, however, some con- 
firmation from the account of the royal 
road as far as that capital in v. 52. 

■ See the Essay " On the Religion of 
the Ancient Persians." 




had access.* The Persians, from the date of their 
conquest of the Medes, possessed (as has been already- 
shown *) a variety of authentic documents, increasing 
in number and copiousness with the descent to more 
recent times, and capable of serving as a solid basis for 
history. Moreover, their entire annals at the time 
when Herodotus wrote were comprised within a space 
of little more than a century — about the same distance 
which separates the Englishman of the present day 
from the rebellion of 1745 — a period for which even 
oral tradition is a tolerably safe guide. We might 
have expected under these circumstances a more purely 
historic narrative of the events in question, and a 
greater correctness, if not a greater amplitude of detail,* 
than the work of Herodotus is foimd in fact to supply. 
The deficiency is traceable to two causes. Among the 
Persians, then as now, the critical judgment was far 
less developed than the imagination, and their histo- 
rians, or rather chroniclers (Xoyioi), delighted to 
diversify with all manner of romantic circumstances 
the history of their earlier kings. This was especially 
the case with Cyrus, the hero-founder of the empire, 
whose adventures were narrated with vast exaggeration 
and immense variety.'' Herodotus too was by natural 
temperament inclined to look with favour on the 
poetical and the marvellous, and where he had to 

^ See especially book i. ch. 1 ; and 
compare i. 95, and 214 sttb fin. See 
also p. 52 of this chapter. 

* Supra, p. 59. 

• The early history of Cyrus in He- 
rodotus is purely romance — ^his treat- 
ment of Crcesus, and the manner of 
his own death, seem to be fabulous ; 
—in the history of Cambyses and of 
the Pseudo-Smerdis are several im- 
portant errors ; — the debate among 
the conspirators as to the best form of 
government, and the story of (Ebares 
are most certainly fictions ; so pro- 
bably are the stories of S^loson and 

Zopyrus ; — the circumstances of the 
expedition of Darius against Scythia 
are probably exaggerated. It is not 
till the time of the Ionian revolt that 
the Persian history becomes fully 
tnistworthy. Among the omissions 
which most surprise us are those of 
the Sacan and Bactrian wars of Cyrus, 
the reduction of Phoenicia, Cyprus, 
and Cilicia by Cambyses; the revolt 
of the Medes from Darius ; and his 
conquest of a part of India. 

^ As Herodotus himself indicates. 
See i. 95 and 214. 



choose between a number of conflicting stories would 
be disposed to reject the prosaic and commonplace for 
the romantic and extraordinary. Thus he may often 
have accepted an accoimt which to modems seems pal- 
pably untrue when the authentic version of the story 
came actually under his cognisance. In other cases he 
may have pieced together the sober relations of writers 
who drew from the monuments, and, the hvely inven- 
tions of romancers, not perceiving the superiority of the 
former.® Thus his narrative, where it can be compared 
with the Persian monumental records, presents the 
curious contrast of minute and exact agreement in some 
parts with broad and striking diversity in others — the 
diversity being chiefly in those points where there is 
the most of graphic colouring and highly-wrought 
description — ^the agreement being in names, dates, and 
the general outline of the results attained as distin- 
guished from the mode in which they were accom- 
plished.* Unfortunately a direct comparison of this 

* Hence arise contradictions, as that 
in the Scythian war of Darius, where 
the time during which the Persians 
are actually in the country, and the 
time which such a march as that as- 
signed them must have occupied, are 
-widely at variance. See note to book 
iv. ch. 133. 

• The period of Persian history for 
which alone this comparison is at pre- 
sent possible, is that intervening be- 
tween the death of Smerdis and tlie 
(second) recovery of Babylon by Da- 
rius, where the Behistun inscription 
furnishes a running comment upon 
the third book of Herodotus. Here 
the name of Smerdis, his secret exe- 
cution by his brother, the expedition 
into Egypt, the bursting out of the 
Magian revolution while he was there, 
the death of Cambyses on hearing of 
the revolt, the quiet enjoyment of the 
crown for a while by the Pseudo- 
Smerdis, his personation of the sou of 
Cyrus, the sudden arrival of Darius, 
his six companions, their names with 

one exception, the violent death of the 
pretender, the period of trouble which 
followed, the revolt and reduction of 
Babylon within a few years, are all 
correctly stated by our author, whose 
principal misstatements are the fol- 
lowing : — 1. The execution of Smer- 
dis (Bardius) after the commence- 
ment of the Egyptian expedition, 
which connects with the story of his 
drawing the Ethiopian bow (Herod, 
iii. 30) ; 2. The attack of the con- 
spirators upon the Magi in the palace 
at Susttf and the struggle there (chs. 
76-9) ; 3. The debate on the form of 
government, and the question who 
should be king (chs. 80-7) ; 4. The 
Median character of the revolution ; 
and 5. The whole story of the mode 
in which Babylon was recovered. He 
also mistakes the real name of the 
Magus, which he supiwses to have 
been Smerdis. The full value and 
extent of our author's correctness is 
best estimated by contrast with the 
writer who, having had every oppor- 



Chap. II. 

kind can but rarely be made, owing to the scantiness of 
the Persian records at present discovered ; but we are 
justified in assuming from the coincidences actually 
observable, that at least some of his authorities drew 
their histories from the monuments ; and it even seems 
as if Herodotus had himself had access to certain of the 
most important of those documents which were pre- 
served in the archives of the empire. It is not alto- 
gether easy to understand how this could have been 
brought about, but perhaps it is possible that either at 
Babylon or at Susa he may have obtained Greek tran- 
scripts of the records in question, or copies may have 
existed in the satrapial treasury of Sardis, in which case 
his acquaintance with them would ceaso to be surprising. 
The instances to which reference is especially intended 
are the account of the satrapies of Darius and the re- 
venue drawn from them in the third book, and the 
catalogue of the army of Xerxes in the seventh. These 
are exactly such documents as the royal archives would 
contain, and they have a character of minuteness and 
completeness which makes it evident that they are not 
the mere result of such desultory inquiries as Herodotus 
might have been able to make in the different coimtries 
where he travelled. If then these are actual Persian 
documents,^ we may conclude that the Persian history 
of Herodotus, at least from the accession of Darius, is 

tunity of gaining exact information, 
professed to correct the errors of one 
whom he did not scruple to call ** a 
lying chronicler** (ap. Phot, Bibl. 
God. Lxxn. ad init.). Gtesias names 
the brother of Cambyses, Tanyox- 
aroes ; does not allow that Gambyses 
went into Egypt ; makes him die at 
Babylon of an accidental hurt which 
he had given himself; places the Ma- 
gian revolution after his death ; cor- 
rupts the names of two out of the six 
conspirators, and entirely changes the 
names of the other four ; follows He- 
rodotus in his account of the death of 

the Mac^ and of the mode in which 
Darius became king ; gives the name 
of the Magus as Sphendadates ; and 
regards the whole struggle as one 
purely personal. On one point only 
does Gtesias improve upon his prede- 
cessor—in denying that the Zopyrus 
story belongs to the capture of Baby- 
lon by Darius. Even here, however, 
it may be doubted whether, in refer- 
ring it to the capture by Xerxes, he 
does not replace one fable by another. 
* See Heeren's As. Nat vol. i. pp. 
97 and 441. E. T. 

Chap. IL 



based in the main upon authentic national records ; and 
tills conclusion is borne out as well by the general pro* 
babilitj of the narrative as by its agreement in certain 
minute points with monumental and other evidence.' 

It results from this entire review that in all the 
countries with which the history of Herodotus was at 
all vitally concerned there existed monumental records, 
accessible to himself or his informants, of an authentic 
and trustworthy character.' These were of course less 
plentiful for the earlier times, and in Greece especially 
such records were but scanty ; enough however existed 
everywhere to serve as a considerable check upon the 
wanderings of mere oral tradition, and prevent it for 
the most part from straying very &r from the truth« 
These documents were in the case of foreign countries 
sealed books to Herodotus, who had no power of read- 
ing any language but his own ; ^ his informants, how- 
ever, were acquainted with them, and thus a great 
portion of their contents found their way into his pages. 

' The length of the reign of Gam- 
bysos is confirmed by the Canon of 
Ptolemy — the fact that Darius became 
king in hie fathcr^s lifetime (iii. 72), 
by the Behistnn inscription — the re- 
volt of the Medes from Darius (i. 
130X by the same document-— the 
conquest of India in the reign of Da- 
rius, by a comparison of the Est of pro- 
vinces in the inscriptions of Behistun 
and Persepolis — the Scythian expedi- 
tion by the tomb-inscription at 
Nakhsh-i-Rustam — the length of Da- 
rius^s reign bv the Canon, and by 
Manetho. It is worthy of notice that 
Ctesias misstates the leiigth both of 
this and the preceding reign, assign- 
ing to Cambyses 18 years, and to Da* 
rius 31 (Persio. Exc. §§ 12 and 19). 
The order of the chief events in the 
reign of Darius is confirmed by a com- 
parison of the three inscriptions above 
mentioned, of which the Behistun is 
clearly the earliest, and the tomb in- 
scription the latest. 

* If any exceptions need to be 

made, they would be those of Lydia 
and Media. The Hedes had no his- 
tory — ^probably no letters — prior to 
Cyaxarcs, who led them into Media 
Magna from beyond the Caspian. The 
Lydian traditions ran up into myth 
shortly before the time of Gyges. 

* There is an appearance of lin- 
guistic knowledge in Herodotus, which 
may seem to militate against this view. 
He frequently introduces and explains 
foreign words (i. 110, 192; ii. 2, 80, 
46, 69, 77, 81, 94, 143 ; iv. 27, 69, 
110, 155, 192 ; vi. 98, 119 ; viii. 85, 
98 ; ix. 110), and readily pronouncee 
on similarity or identity of language 
(I. 57, 172; ii. 105; iv. 117, &c.). 
But in the latter ease he seems to have 
trusted to his ear, and in the former 
his explanations are often so bad as 
to show his complete ignorance rather 
than his knowledge of the tongues in 
question. (See notes on Piromis, ii. 
143 ; and on the names of the Persian 
kings, vi. 98.) 


Occasionally he was able to obtain an entire state-paper, 
and to transfer it bodily into his work ; but more com- 
monly he drew his information from men, thus deriving 
his knowledge of the more ancient times at second- 
hand. Conscious of his absolute dependance in such 
cases on the truthfulness of his authorities, h^ endea^ 
voured everywhere to derive his information from 
those best skilled in the history of their native land,* 
but here he was met by many difficulties — some received 
his advances coldly, others wilfully misled him — a few 
made him welcome to their stores, but in those stores 
the historical and the romantic were so blended together, 
that it was beyond his power to disentangle them. The 
consequence is that in the portion of his history which 
has reference to foreign countries and to more ancient 
times, the most valuable truths and the merest fables 
lie often side by side. He is at the mercy of his in- 
formants, and is compelled to repeat their statements, 
even where he does not believe them. In Greece 
itself, and in other countries as he comes nearer to his 
own time, his information is better and more abundant ; i 
he is able to sift and compare statements, to balance ; 
the weight of evidence, and to arrive at conclusions 
which are probably in the main correct. The events 
related in his last five books were but little removed 
from his own day, and with regard to these he has 
almost the authority of a contemporary historian ; for 
his informants must have been chiefly persons engaged 
in the transactions. His own father woidd most likely 
liavo witnessed and may have taken part in the Ionian 
insurrection, which preceded the birth of Herodotus by 
less than fifteen years* The subsequent events must 
have been familiar to all the elder men of his acquaint- 
ance, Marathon being no further removed from him 
than Waterloo from ourselves, and Salamis being as 

* Cf. i. 1, 96, 181-3 ; ii. 3, &c. 


near as Navarino. He would find then in the memory 
of living men abundant materials for an authentic 
aocoimt of those matters on which it was his special 
object to write ; and if a want of trustworthy sources 
£rom which to draw is to be brought forward as de- 
tracting from the value of his work, it must at any rate 
be conceded that the objection Ues, not against the 
main narrative, but against the introductory portion, 
and even there rather against the episodes wherein he 
ventures to trace the ancient history of some of the 
chief countries brought into contact with Persia, than 
against the thread of narration by which these ambitious 
efforts are connected with the rest of the treatise. The 
episodes themselves must be judged separately, each on 
ite own merits. The traditions of the Scyths, of the 
Medes before Cyaxares, of Lydia before Gyges, and of 
all countries without a literature, must be received with 
the greatest caution, and regarded as having the least 
possible weight. But the accounts of Egypt, Assyria, 
Babylon, Persia, and the various states of Greece, 
having been derived in part from monuments and 
otherwise from those who possessed access to monu- 
ments, deserve throughout attentive consideration. 
They may from various causes often be incorrect in 
particulars, but they may be expected to be true in 
outline, and in their details they may not unfrequently 
embody the contents of authentic documents existing at 
the time when Herodotus wrote, but now irrecoverably 
lost to us. Critical judgment must separate in them 
the probable from the improbable ; but whatever comes 
xmder the former head, and is not contradicted by 
better authority, may well be received as historical, at 
least until fresh discoveries shall at once disprove their 
truth, and supply us with more authentic details to sub- 
stitute in their place. 




Mieritfl of HerodotiiB m a historian: 1. Diligence. 2. Honesty — ^Failure of all 
attacks on his veracity. 3. Impartiality — Charges of prejudice — Remarkable 
instances of candour. 4. Political dispassionateness. 5. Freedom from 

national vanity. ^Defects as a historian: 1. Credulity— Belief in omens, 

oracles, dreams, &c. — Theory of Divine Nemesis —Marvels in Nature. 2. 
Spirit of exaggeration — Anecdotes. 3. Want of accuracy— Discrepancies — 
Repetitions— Loose chronology, &c. 4. Want of historical insight^-<!onAisLoBi 
of occasions with causes — Defective geography^-Absuxd meteorology — 

Mythology — ^Philology. Merits as a writer: 1. Unity — Scope of the work. 

2. Clever management of the episodes — Question of their relevancy. 8. Skill 
in character-drawing— The Persians— The Spartans— The Athenians — ^Persian 
and Spartan kings: Themistocles— Aristides — Greek Tyrants: CrcBsus— 
Amasis — Nitocris — ^Tomyiis, &o. 4. Dramatic power. 5. Plithofii 6. Humour. 
7. Variety. 8. Pictorial description. 9. Simplicity, 10. Baaaty of stylo. 

In forming our estimate of a historical writer two 
things have to be considered — the value of his work as 
an authentic exposition of the facts with which he 
deals, and its character as a composition. On the 
former head some remarks have been already made 
while w;e have been treating of the sources from which 
the history of Herodotus seems to have been derived ; 
but a more prolonged and detailed consideration of it 
will be now entered on, with special reference to the 
qualifications of the writer, which have been very 
variously estimated by different critics. It is plain that 
however excellent the sources from which Herodotus 
had it in his power to draw, the character of his history 
for authenticity, and so its real value, will depend 
mainly on his possession or non-possession of certain 
attributes which alone entitle a historian to be listened 
to as an authority. 

The primary requisites for a historian — given the 
^^j^ssession of ordinary capacity — are honesty and dili- 
^^^^«5e. The latter of these two qualities no one has 

\ denied to our author. Perhaps, however, scarcely 

Chap. m. 



Bufficient credit has been allowed him for that ardent 
love of knowledge, that unwearied spirit of research, 
which led him in disturbed and perilous times to under- 
take at his own cost a series of journeys over almost all 
parts of the known world^ — tie aggregate of which 
cannot have amounted to less than from ten to fifteen 
thousand miles— for the sole purpose of deriving, as far 
as possible, from the foimtain-head, that information con- 
cerning men and places which he was bent on putting 
before his readers. Travelling in the age of Herodotus 
had not ceased to be that laborious task, which had 
eialted in primitive times the " much-travelled man '* 
into a hero.* The famous boast of Democritus ^ has a 
moral as well as an intellectual bearing, and is a claim 
upon the respect no less than upon the attention of his 
countrymen. At the period of which we are speaking 
no one journeyed for pleasure ; and it required either 
lust of gain or the strongest thirst for knowledge to 
induce persons to expose themselves to the toils, hard- 
ships, and dangers which were then attendant upon 
locomotion, particularly in strange countries. We may 
regret that the journeys of Herodotus were sometimes 
Tmdertaken for objects which do not seem to us com- 
mensurate with the time and labour which they must 
have cost,* and that in other instances, where the object 
was a worthy one, they were baulked of the fruit which 
he might fairly have expected them to bear;* but it 
would be unjust to withhold from him the meed of our 
approval for the activity and zeal which could take him 
from Egypt to Tyre, and from Tyre to Thasos, to clear 
up a point of antiquarianism of no importance to his 
general history; and which, again, could carry him 
from Memphis to Heliopolis, and then up the Nile, 

* Vide supra, pp. 8-11. 

* See the opening of the Odyssey ; 
and compare Horat. £p. I. ii. 19-22 ; 
A. P. 141. See also Virg. Mn. i. 7. 

* Ap, Clem. Alexandr. (Strom. I. 
p. 357.} 'Eyo) di iS>v Kar* ifxavrop 

dvOpamcav yrfv irXiioTijp fVcTrXayiycci- 
firjUy laTop§oi>v rh p.rjKio'Ta ' Koi at pas 
Koi y€as TrXfiaras abou ' k.t.\, 

* See book ii. ch. 44. 

» Ibid. ch. 3. 



Chap. HI. 

nine days' journey, to Thebes, for the mere purpose of 
testing the veracity of his Memphitic informants. We 
must also admire that indefatigable inquisitiveness — 
not perhaps very agreeable to those who were its 
objects — which was constantly drawing from all persons 
with whom he came into contact whatever information 
they possessed concerning the history or peculiarities 
of their native land or the countries where they had 
travelled.' The painstaking laboriousness with which 
his materials were collected is marked by that term 
whereby he designated its results, viz. 'Itrroplti — ^which 
is not really equivalent to our " history," but signifies 
" investigation " or " research," and so properly charac- 
terises a narrative of which diligent inquiry has formed 
the basis. 

The honesty of Herodotus has not passed unchal- 
lenged. Several ancient writers,^ among them two of 
considerable repute, Ctesias the court-physician to Ar- 
taxerxes Mnemon, and Plutarch, or rather an author 
who has made free with his name, have impeached the 
truthfulness of the historian, and maintained that his 

* Herodotus enumerates among his 
informants, besides Persians, Egyp- 
tians, and Chaldseans, the Scythians 
(iv. 5, 24), the Pontine Greeks (iv. 8, 
18, 24, &c.), the Tauri (iv. 103), the 
Colchians ?ii. 104), the Bithynians 
(vii. 75), tlie Thracians (v. 10), the 
Lydians (iv. 45), the Carians (i. Ill), 
^the Caunians (i. 172), the Cyprians 
f i. 105 ; vii. 90, &c.), the Phoenicians 
(i. 5), the Tyrian priests (ii. 44), the 
Medes (vii. 62), the Arabians (iii. 
108), the Ammonians (iii. 26), the 
Cyrenaeans (iv. 154), the Carthagi- 
nians (iv. 43), the Syracusans (vii. 
167), and other Siciliot« (vii. 165), 
the Crotoniats (v. 44), the Sybarites 
(ibid.), the priestesses at Dodona (ii. 
53), the Corinthians (i. 23), the Lace- 
daemonians (i. 70, &c.), the Argives 
(v. 87), the Eginetans (v. 86), the 
Athenians (v. 63, &c.), the Gephy- 
neans (v. 57), the Thessalians (vii. 
129), the Macedonians (viii. 138), the 
Hellespontine Greeks (iv. 95), the 

Lesbians (i. 23^, the Samians (i. 70), 
the Delians (vi. 98), the lonians (ii. 
15), the Cretans (i. 171), the The- 
weans (iv. 150), &c. &c. 

' Manetho, the Egyptian historian, 
is said to have written a book against 
Herodotus (Etym. Magn. s. y. Acoirro- 
K6fws), Another was composed by 
Harpocration, * On the False State- 
ments made by Herodotus in his 
History' (Ocpl rov jcarr^cvo^cu rrfv 
'Hpod&rov loToplav. See Suidas ad 
voc. ApTTOKparitov,^ Josephus (oontr. 
Ap. i. 3) asserts that aUGrreek writers 
admitted Herodotus to be generally 
imtruthful (cV rois nXdarois i^cvdo- 
fjL€vov). Laertius notes certain tales 
which were taxed with falsity (Proem. 
§ 9). Theopompus (Fr. 29), Strabo 
(xi. 740, 771, &c.), Lucian (Ver. Hist, 
ii. 42), Cicero (De Leg. i. 1 ; De Div. 
ii. 56), and others, speak disparagingly 
of his veracity. Their remarks apply 
chiefly to his marvellous stories. 

Chap. in. 



narrative is entitled to little credit. Ctesias seiems to 
have introduced his own work to the favourable notice 
of his countrymen by a formal attack on the veracity of 
his great predecessor,* upon the ruins of whose reputa- 
tion he hoped to establish his own. He designed his 
history to supersede that of Herodotus, and feeling it 
in vain to endeavour to cope with him in the charms of 
composition, he set himself to invalidate his authority, 
presuming upon his own claims to attention as a resi- 
dent for seventeen years at the court of the great king.* 
Professing to draw his relation of Oriental affairs from 
a laborious examination of the Persian archives,^ he 
proceeded to contradict, wherever he could do so with- 
out fear of detection, the assertions of his rival f and he 
thus acquired to himself a degree of fame and of con- 
sideration to which his literary merits would certainly 
never have entitled him, and which the course of detrac- 
tion he pursued could alone have enabled him to gain. 
By the most unblushing effrontery he succeeded in 
palming off his narrative upon the ancient world as the 
true and genuine account of the transactions, and his 

• The words of Photius concerning 
Ctesias (Bibliothec. Cod. Lxxii.) are : 
axf^v iv Swaaiv djrnx€ifi€va 'Hpodor^ 
Icrrop&v, dKkh jcat i^ev(m;v avritv atro- 
Kak»v €v fToXkois, 

» Died. Sic. ii. 32. For the fact of 
the residence of Ctesias in Persia, see 
Xen. An. L viii. § 26-7 ; Strab. xiv. 
p. 938 ; Tzetz. Chil. i. i. 85. 

' Diod. Sic. 1. S. C. oirros ovv <t>rfa'iv 

alt ol Hipo'tu Thi ircLkcLuii irpd^tis 
KOTO. Tiwz v6fiov tixov <njVT€rayfi(paSf 
woXvfrpayfAovrjo'ai ra Koff tKaara 
jcoi amn-a^fitvoy ttjv iaropuiv cir roifs 
"E^X^pas €^(V€yK€lv, 

* The most important points on 
which the two writers differed were, 
1. the date of the first establishment 
of a great Assyrian empire at Nineveh, 
which Ctesias placed almost a thousand 
years before Herodotus; 2. the duration 
of the empire — according to Ctesias, 
1306 years, according to Herodotus, 
520 \ 3. the date of the Median con- 

quest of Assyria, which Ctesias made 
about B.C. 876, Herodotus about B.C. 
600 ; and, 4. the duration of the Me- 
dian kingdom — above 300 years in 
the former, 150 in the latter writer. 
Minor points of difference are, the 
names and number of the Median 
kings, the relationship of Cyrus to 
Astyages, the mode in which Sardis 
was taken, the enemy against whom 
Cyrus made his last expedition, the 
names of the brother of Cambyses and 
of the Magus, the circumstances of the 
invasion of Egypt, the manner of the 
death of Cambyses and the length of 
his reign, the names of the six conspi- 
rators, the length of the reign of Darius, 
the time when Babylon was recovered 
by the stratagem ascribed to Zopyrus, 
the number of the army and fleet of 
Xerxes, the order of the great events 
in the Persian War, the time and place 
of the death of Mardonius, the numbers 
of the Qreek fleet at Salamis, &c. 



Chap. HI. 

anthority was commonly followed in preference to that 
of Herodotus, at least upon all points of purely Orien- 
tal history.^ There were not wanting indeed in ancient 
times some more critical spirits, e. g. Aristotle * and the 
true Plutarch,* who refused to accept as indisputable 
the statements of the Cnidian physician, and retorted 
upon him the charge of untruthfulness which he had 
preferred against our author. It was diflScult, how- 
ever, to convict him of systematic falsehood until Orien- 
tal materials of an authentic character were obtained by 
which to test the conflicting accounts of the two writers. 
A comparison with the Jewish scriptures, and with the 
native history of Berosus, first raised a general suspi- 
cion of the bad faith of Ctesias,* whose credit few modems 
have been bold enough to maintain against the con- 
tinually increasing evidence against him.* At last the 

• The historical work of Ctesias 
seems to have been at once received 
by his countrymen as authoritative 
concerning the East Even Aristotle, 
who rejected the fables of the Indica, 
appears to have given a certain amount 
of credit to the Assyrian history. 
(Polit. V. 8 ; Eth. Nic. i. 5.) His dis- 
ciple, Clearchus, followed in the same 
track (Fr. 5), as did Duris of Samos, 
a contemporary (Fr. 14). Polybius 
^8.0. 160) appears to have adopted 
from Ctesias the whole outline of his 
Oriental narrative (Fr. 9 ; compare 
vni. xii. § 3, and xxxvu. ii. § 6), as 
did ^milius Sura, Trogus Pompeius, 
and the Augustan writers generally. 
(See Diodorus Siculus, book ii. ; Nic. 
Damasc. Frs. 7-10; Strabo, xvi. pp. 
1046-7.J Vellius Paterculus (i. 6) 
followed Sura, and Justin (i. 1-3) 
Trogus Pompeius ; while Castor (ap. 
Euseb.), Cephalion ^Fr. 1), and 
Clemens of Alexandna (vol. i. p. 
379), drew direct from Ctesias him- 
self. Eusebius unfortunately adopted 
the views of Ctesias from Diodorus, 
Castor, and Cephalion, whence they 
passed to the whole series of eccle- 
siastical writers, as Augustine, Sul- 
picius Severus, Agathias, Eustathius, 
S3mcellus, Arc. THiey are also found 
in Moses of Chor^n^, who took them 

from Cephalion (i. 17) ; in Abvdenus 
to a certain extent (Fr. if) ; in 
Athenaeus, Tzetzes, and others. 

^ The monstrous fables of the Indica 
were what chiefly moved the indigna- 
tion of Aristotle. (See Qen. Anim. 
ii. 2 ; Hist. Anim. ii. iii. § 10 ; iii. 
sub fin. ; vin, xxvii. § 3.) But having 
learnt from them the untrustworthy 
character of the writer, he does not 
accept as authoritative his historical 
narrations. See Pol. v. 8, where, 
speaking of the account which Ctesias 
gave of the effeminate Sardanapalus^ 
Aristotle adds, ci aKi\&^ ravta oX 
fivBo\oyovPT€s X(yov<riP. 

* See Plutarch (Vit. Artaxerx. c. 13, 
et alibi). And compare Lucian, De 
Conscribenda Historic (ii. 42 ; vol. iv. 
p. 202), and Arrian (Exp. Alex. v. 4). 

' It is surprising that the ancient 
Christian chronologers did not at once 
perceive how incompatible the scheme 
of Ctesias is with Scripture. To a 
man they adopt it, and then expend 
a vast amount of ingenuity in the 
vain endeavour to reconcile what id 
irreconcileable. (See Clinton's F. H. 
vol. ii. p. 373.) ScaUger was the first 
to attack his credibility. (De Emend. 
Temp.Kot.adFragm. subj. pp. 39-43.) 

' Freret is almost the only modem 
of real learning who has ventured to 




eovp ds grace has been given to his small remaining 
reputation by the recent Cuneiform discoveries, which 
convict him of having striven to rise into notice by a 
system of " enormous lying " to which the history of 
literature scarcely presents a parallel.' 

The reputation of Herodotus has on the whole suffered 
but little from the attacks of the Pseudo-Plutarch. The 
unfairness and prejudice of that writer is so manifest 
that perhaps he has rather done our author a service 
than an injury, by showing how few real errors could 
be detected in his narrative even by the most Ijmx-eyed 
criticism* His charge of ^^ malignity '* has rebounded 
on himself, and he has come to be regarded generally as 
a mere retailer of absurd calumnies which the plain^ 
dealing of Herodotus had caused to be circulated against 
him.* In no instance can he be said to have proved his 
case, or convicted our author of a misstatement ; in one 

uphold the paramount authority of 
Ctesias (M^moires do rAcad^mic des 
Insoriptioiis, vol. v. yp, 351-6). Bahr 
(Prolegomen. ad Ctes. § 8, pp. 24-60) 
attempts but a partial defence, abating 
greatly from the pretensiona absurdly 
prefeired by H. Stephanus. (See the 
' Diaquisitio Historica de Ctesia' in 
this writer's edition of Herodotus.) 

• The great Assyrian empire of 
GtesiaBy lasting for 1306 years, is a 
pure ficticm ; his list of monarchs from 
^NinuB to di^^na|nlus a forgery of the 
dumsieat kind, made up of names in 
pmrt Arian, in part geographic, in part 
Greek, presentmgbnt a single analogy 
to any name found on the monu- 
ments, and in all probability the mere 
product of his own fancy. His Median 
history la equally baseless. (See the 
Critical Essays, Essay iii.) In his 
Persian history, he transfers to the 
time of Cyrus the corruptions preva- 
lent in his own day, forges names and 
munbers at pleasure, and distorts with 
wonderful audacity the historical facts 
best known to the Greeks. The 
monuments convict him of direct 
fiidaebood in numerous instances, as 
the name of the brother of Cam- 


byses, the circumstances of the Magian 
revolution, tlie names of the six con- 
spirators, the place and manner of 
Cambyses' death, the early supremacy 
of Assyria, the time at which Media 
rose into importance, &c. &c. Au- 
thentic documents, like the Canon of 
Ptolemy and tlie dynastic taHes of 
Manetho, contradict his chronological 
data ; as, e. g.^ the number of years 
which he assigns to Cambyses and 
Darius Hystaspes, where Herodotus 
and the aforesaid documents arc agreed. 
The credibility of his history, where it 
touches the Greeks, may be fairly esti- 
mated by comparing his account of the 
revolt of Inarus TPers. Ex. § 32, ct scq.) 
with the narrative of Thucydides (i. 
104, 109, 110\ 

• See Bahr s Commentatio de Vit. 
et Scrii)t. Herod. § 16 ; Dahlmann's 
Life, ch. viii. ; Mure's Literature of 
Greece, vol.iv. p. 265. The last-named 
writer observes : ** ITie tract of Plu- 
tarch, *0n the Malignity of Herodotus, 
is a condensation of these calumnies ; 
for cw such they have been recognised 
hy the inteUigtnt public of every age 
removed from the prejudices in which 
they originate." , 


only has he succeeded in throwing any considerable 
doubt on the view taken by Herodotus of an important 

The writers who have followed in the wake of these 
two assailants of Herodotus can scarcely be said to have 
succeeded any better in their attacks on his veracity. 
The deliberate judgment of modern criticism on the 
subject is decidedly against the assailants, and cannot be 
better summed up than in the words of a recent au- 
thor : — " There can be no doubt," says Col. Mure, " that 
Herodotus was, according to the standard of his age and 
country, a sensible and intelligent man, as well as a 
writer of power and genius, and that he possessed an 
extensive knowledge of human life and character. Still 
less can it reasonably be questioned thai he was an essentially 
honest and vei*acious historian. Such he has been ad- 
mitted to be by the more impartial judges both of hid 
own and subsequent periods of ancient literature, and 
by the all bvi unanimous verdict of the modem public^ 
Rigid, in fact, as has been the scrutiny to which his text 
has been subjected, no distinct case of wilful misstate- 
ment or perversion of fact has been substantiated against 
him. On the contrary, the very severity of the ordeal 
has often been the means of eliciting evidence of his 
truth in cases where, with the greatest temptation 
to falsehood, there was the least apparent risk of detec- 
tion. Every portion indeed of his work is pervaded by 
an air of candour and honest intention, which the dis- 
cerning critic must recognise as reflecting corresponding 
qualities in the author."* It is unnecessary to add 
anything to this testimony, which coming from one 
whose critical knowledge is so great, and who is cer- 

' The matter to which allusion is 
here made, is the conduct of the 
Thehans in connexion with the hattle 
of Thermopylae. See Plut. de Malign. 
Herod, pp. 865-6, and compare Grote's 

Greece, vol. v. pp. 122-3. See also the 
foot-notes to hook vii. chs. 205 and 

■ Mure's Lit of Greece, vol. iv. 
p. 351. 

Chap. HI. mPARflALITY. 81 

tainly not a blind admirer of Herodotus, must be re- 
garded as ahnost closing the controversy. 

To the two excellencies of diligence in collecting 
materials and honesty in making use of them Hero- 
dotus adds a third, less common than either of the 
others, that of the strictest impartiality. Here again, 
however, his merit has not been uncontested. The 
Pseudo-Plutarch accuses him of nourishing a special 
prejudice against the Thebans because they had refused 
to gratify his cupidity ;» and another writer brings a 
similar charge against him with respect to the Corin- 
thians.^ He has also been taxed more generally, and 
in modem no less than ancient times." with 8ho;.ing 
undue favour towards the Athenians. But the charges of 
prejudice evaporate with the calumnies of which they are 
the complement, and a reference to his work shows that 
he had no unfriendly feeling towards either nation. The 
valour displayed by the entire Boeotian cavalry at 
Platdea is honourably noticed,' and the conduct of the 
Thebans on the occasion receives special commemora- 
tion;^ the circumstances, moreover, of the siege of 
Thebes* are decidedly creditable to that people. The 
Corinthians receive still more striking marks of his 
good-will. The portraiture of their conduct from the 
time that they became a free nation, is almost without 
exception favourable. They brave the displeasure of the 
Spartans by withdrawing their contingent from a joint 
army of Peloponnesians at a most critical moment, 
purely from a sense of justice and a determination not 
to share in doing a wrong.' Subsequently at a council 
summoned by Sparta they alone have the boldness to 
oppose the plan of the Lacedaemonians for enslaving 

* Quoting AristophaDes of Boeotia 
as his authority, p. 864 D. 

* Dio Chrysost. Orat. xxxvii. p. 

* See Pint de Malign. Herod, p. 

862, A., where the writer speaks of the 
charp^e as one commonly made. 

« Herod, ix. 68. 

7 Ibid. chs. 67 and 69. 

" Ibid. chs. 86-8. • Ibid. v. 75. 

VOL. I. a 


Athens, and to expose openly before all the allies the 
turpitude of their proposals.^ On another occasion they 
play the part. of peace-makers between Athens and 
Thebes.^ Somewhat later, they evade an express law 
of their state, which forbade them to give away ships 
of war, and liberally make the Athenians a present of 
twenty triremes^ — certainly a meritorious act in the 
eyes of Herodotus. In the Persian war they act on the 
whole a strenuous part, only inferior to that played by 
the Athenians and the Eginetans. At Artemisium and 
at Salamis, their contingent greatly exceeds that of any 
other state except Athens/ In the fight at the latter 
place their behaviour, according to the version which 
Herodotus manifestly prefers, is such as to place them 
in the first rank for bravery.* Their contingent at 
Plataaa far exceeds that of any other state except Athens 
and Sparta,* and though together with the great bulk 
of the confederates they were absent from the battle, 
they are mentioned among those who made all haste 
to redeem their fault so soon as they heard of the 
engagement.' Finally, at Mycale they behave with 
great gallantry, and appear in the Kst of those who 
most distinguished themselves, next to the Athenians,^ 
The only discredit which attaches to the Corinthians in 
connexion with the war regards the conduct of their 
naval contingent, and especially of Adeimantus, its 
commander, in the interval between the muster at Arte- 
misium, and the victory at Salamis.® But here is no 
evidence of any peculiar prejudice,, for they are merely 
represented as sharing in the feeling common to all the 
Peloponnesians, and their prominency is the result of 
their eminent position among the Spartan naval allies. 
These charges of prejudice and ill-will therefore fall to 

» Herod, v. 92. • Ibid. vi. 108. 

» Ibid. cb. 89. 

* Ibid. viii. 1 and 43. 


• Ibid. ix. 28. 

7 Ibid, cb, ea. 

« Ibid. cb. 105. 

» Ibid. viii. 5, 59, 61. 

Chap. m. 



the ground when tested hj a general examination of the 
whole work of Herodotus, and it does not appear that 
he is fairly taxahle with " malignity," or even harsh- 
ness in his treatment of any Greek state. 

The accusation of an undue leaning towards Athens 
is one which has primd facie a certaiu show of justice, 
and which at any rate deserves more attention than 
these unworthy imputations of spite and malice. The 
open and undisguised admiration of the Athenians 
which Herodotus displays throughout his work,* the 
fact that to Athens he was indebted for a home and a 
new citizenship when expelled from his native country,' 
the very probable fact of his having received at the 
hands of the Athenians a sum of money on accoimt of 
his history,* make it not unlikely that he may have 
allowed his judgment to be warped in some degree by 
his favourable feelings towards those to whom he was 
united by the double bond of gratitude and mutual 
esteem. Again, in one instance, he has certainly made 
an indefensible statement, the effect of which is to add 
to the glory of the Athenians at the expense of other 
Greeks.* Still a careful review of his entire narrative 
will show, that however favourably disposed towards 
the Athenians, he was no blind or undiscriminating 
admirer, but openly criticised their conduct where it 
seemed to him faulty, noticing with the same unsparing 
freedom which he has used towards others, the errors, 
crimes, and follies of the Athenian people and their 
greatest men. Where he first introduces the Athenians, 

» See V. 79 ; vi. 112 ; vii. 139 ; viii. 
10, 109, 143-4 ; ix. 22, 27-8„ 70, &c. 

« Snprti, p. 22. ■ Ibid. p. 17. 

* Htfod. ti. 112. It is certainly 
tmtnie to say, of the Athenians at 
Marathon, that they " were the first 
of the Grreeks who dared to look upon 
the Median garb, and to face men clad 
in that fashion." The Ionian Greeks 
foaght bravely against Harpagus (i. 
1B9) ; the Perinthians resisted M^a- 

bazus (v. 2) ; the lonians again, 
assisted by a few Athenians and 
Eretrians, met the Persians in open 
fight at Ephesus (v. 102) ; the Cyprian 
Greeks fought a Persian army near 
Salamis (v. 110-3); the Milesians 
were engaged against another in Caria 
(v. 120) ; and a hard battle was fought 
between a strong body of Persians and 
an army of Ionian and iEolian Greeks 
near Atameus (vi. 28-9). 

o 2 


he speaks of the bulk of the nation as " loving iyranny 
better than freedom,"* and about the same time he 
notices that they suffered themselves to be imposed 
upon by " one of the silliest devices to be found in all 
history."* After the establishment of the democracy, 
he ventures to call in question the wisdom of great 
Demus himself, taxing him with " deceivableness," and 
declaring that he was more easily deluded by fair words 
than an individual.' He describes the general spirit of 
the Athenian people immediately before Marathon as 
timid and wa verin|,« condemns openly their treatment of 
the heralds of Xerxes, which he regards as bringing them 
justly under the divine displeasure,' and passes a still 
more severe though indirect censure upon their conduct 
towards the Eginetans in the case of their hostages.^*^ 
He further exposes their spirit of detraction towards 
their rivals by relating the account which they gave of 
the behaviour of the Corinthians at Salamis, and at the 
same time clearly intimating his own disbelief of it." 
In the character of th^ir great men, with the solitary 
exception of Aristides, he notes flaws, detracting very 
considerably from the admiration to which they would 
otherwise have been entitled. Besides the imputation 
of mercenary motives to Themistocles," which has been 
generally remarked, Clisthenes is denied the merit of 
disinterestedness in the policy which formed his special 
glory,^^ and Miltiades is exhibited as engaging in the 
expedition which brought disgrace alike on himself 
and on his coimtry, to gratify a private pique." It can- 
not, therefore, be said with any truth that Herodotus 
suffered his admiration of the Athenians to degenerate 
into partizanship ; or did more than assign them the 
meed of praise which he felt to be, and which really 

» Herod, i. 62. • Ibid. ch. 60. 

"f n)id. V. 97. 

» Ibid. vi. 109 : oomp. 124. 

» Ibid.*vii. 133. »^ Ibid. vi. 86. 

" Ibid. viii. 94. 

" Ibid. viii. 4, 111-2. 

" Ibid. V. 66 and 69. 

" Ibid. vi. 133. 

Chap. III. 



was, their due. A single hyperbolical expression, which 
his own work affords the means of correcting, cannot be 
allowed to weigh in the balance against the general 
evidence of candour and fairness furnished by his 

Before taking leave of this subject, it seems right to 
notice two special instances, where the candour of 
Herodotus is very remarkably displayed under circum- 
stances of peculiar temptation. Bom and bred up 
during the continuance of the struggle between Greece 
and Persia, himself a citizen of a Greek state which 
only succeeded in throwing off the Persian yoke after 
he was grown to manhood, and led by his own opinions 
to sympathise most warmly with the patriotic side, he 
might have been pardoned had he felt a little bitterly 
towards that grasping people, which, not content with 
ruKng all Asia from India and Bactria on the one hand, 
to Phoenicia and Lydia on the other, envied the inde- 
pendence and sought to extinguish the liberties of 
Greece. In lieu, however, of such a feeling, we find 
the very opposite tone and spirit in all that he tells us 
of the Persians. Their valour,* their simplicity and 
hardiness,* their love of truth,^ their devoted loyalty to 
their princes,* their wise customs and laws,* are spoken 
of with a strength and sincerity of admiration which 
strongly marks his superiority to the narrow spirit of 
national prejudice and partiality too common in every 
age. It is evidently his earnest wish and aim to do 
justice to the enemy no less than to his own country- 
men. Hence every occasion is seized to introduce 
traits of nobility, generosity, justice, or self-devotion on 
the part of either prince or people.* The personal 

» Herod, vi. 113 ; viii. 100, 113 ; 
ix. 62, 102, &c. 

* Ibid. i. 71 ; ix. 122. 
» Ibid. i. 136, 138. 

* Ibid. viii. 99 ; corap. iii. 128, 
154-5; vii. 107, and viii. 118, where 
the seUf-devotion, though not regarded 

as true, appears to be considered 

* Itid. i. 137-8 ; iii. 154. 

« ibid. i. 115 ; iii. 2, 74-5, 128, 140, 
154-158, 160; v. 25; vi. 30, 119; 
vii. 27-9, 105, 107, 136, 181, 194, 
237, &c. 



Chap. UI. 

prowess of the Persians is declared to be not a whit 
inferior to that of the Greeks/ and constant apologies 
are made for their defeats, which are ascribed to defi- 
ciencies in their arms, equipment, or discipline,® not to 
any want of courage or military spirit. Of course the 
defects of the nation and its chiefs are also recorded, 
but there is every appearance of an honest intention to 
give them full credit for every merit which they pos- 
sessed, and the portraiture is altogether about the most 
favourable that we possess of any oriental nation either 
in ancient or modern times.* 

The other remarkable instance of our author's can- 
dour is contained in his notices of Artemisia.^ Without 
assigning any particular weight to the statements of 
Suidas as to the important part which Herodotus played 
personally in the drama of Halicarnassian politics, it is 
certain that if the revolution by which the tyranny was 
put down and the family of Artemisia expelled took 
place in his time, his views and sympathies must have 
been altogether on the popular side. He must un- 
doubtedly have felt, even if he did not act, with those 
who drove out the tyrant, and brought Halicamassus into 
the Athenian confederacy. The warm praise therefore, 
and open admiration which he bestows on Artemisia, is 

^ Herod, ix. 62. Xrifian fuv vvv koi 
p&fJLfj oIk €(T(tov(s }j(rav ol Il€po'aL, 

^6patri fipa\vT€poi(n )(p(o»fji€voit 
tfntp ol "EXXryvcff, KCii ovk ?;ifovT€ff 
irXi;^( Xpri<raa-6ai (vii. 211). 6 Mip^<o 
trrparbs vvh yLty66(6s t( taxi irXrjBios 
avT6s vn iavTov hnirrt^ raptura-ofit- 
ycMv re T&v vtStv jcal ir€pi9r(7rrovo'ca>y 
ircpt oXXnXaf (viii. 16). rSiv fitv *EX- 
\r)v&v avv Kotrfi^ vav(jui\(6vT»v Kara 
rci^iy, r&v bi ov rerayfitvw crt (viii. 
86). ol Utpaai (IvoirKoi iovra koX irpos 
avfiTMmf/iovcr ^aav Hx. 62). Compare 
V. 49, where the aescription of the 
Persian equipment prepares us for the 
coming defeats. ^ p-^xn ovro>v cWl 
TOiTfdt' t6^ Koi alxp^ Ppax^Oj dv<M(v- 
pibas Hi tfxovTfg tfpxovrai ts ras pdxas 
Koi Kvpfiaaiai M rgo-i Jcc^oX^/cri. 

• Colonel Mure justly observes : — 
'* Perhaps the best vindication of the 
historian's fairness, in so far as regards 
the Persians, is the fact, that while the 
most detailed account of that people 
which we possess, and on which we 
are chiefly accustomed to form our 
judgment of their character, is that 
transmitted by Herodotus, there is no 
nation among those who in ancient or 
modem times have figured on the wide 
field of Oriental politics, which for pa- 
triotism, valour, talent, and generosity, 
occupies or deserves to occupy so high 
a place in our estimation. — ^Lit. of 
Greece, vol. iv. p. 435. 

' Herod, vii 99; viii, 68, 87-8, 


indicative of a fair mind, which would not allow political 
partizanship to blind him to individual merit. Of 
course, if the narrative of Suidas, despite its weak 
authority, should be true— which has been admitted to 
be possible' — the credit accorded to the Halicamassian 
queen would be a still more notable proof of candour. 

In connexion with this trait it may be further ob- 
served that the whole work of Herodotus exhibits very 
strikingly his political moderation and freedom from 
party bias. Though decidedly preferring democratic 
institutions to any other ,^ he is fully awate that they 
are not without their own peculiar evils,* while every 
form of government he recognises to have certain ad- 
vantages.* A consequence of this moderation of feeling 
is that fair distribution of praise and blame among 
persons of diflferent political sentiments, which might 
have been imitated with advantage by the modern 
writers who have treated of this period of history. 
Herodotus can see and acknowledge the existence of 
faults in popular leaders,^ and of virtues in oligarchs, or 
even despots.' He does not regard it as his duty to 
whitewash the characters of the one' or to blacken the 
memories of the other. And the same dispassionateness 
appears in his account of the conduct of states. The 
democratical Argos is shown to have pursued a more 
selfish policy throughout the Persian war than almost 

■ Snpr^ p. 14. 

• See V. 78 ; vi. 5, &c. 

• These are very strongly put in 
tlie speech of Megabyzns Hii. 81), 
and are glanced at in the following 
passages : iii. 142-3 ; v. 97 ; vi. 109. 

• §ee book iii. chs. 80-2, and com- 
pare the praise given to the evvo^iia 
of Lycurgus (i. 65-6), to the Milesian 
aristocracy (v. 28-9), and to the first 
tyranny of risistratus (i. 59, ad fin.). 

' • As in Clisthenes (v. 66, 69), in 
Themistocles (viii. 4, 109-10, 111-2), 
and in Telesarchus, the Samian demo- 
crat (iii. 142). 

7 Sosicles, the Corinthian noble (v. 
92), Pisistratus (i. 59), Maeandrius 
(iii. 142), Crins the Eginetan (viii. 92, 
comp. vi. 73), and Ihuius himself, are 

"It may be thought that the chap* 
ters in book vi. which defend the Alc- 
m^onidac from the charge of having 
been in league with the Persians at 
the time of the battle of Marathon 
(chs. 123-4) form an attempt of this 
kind. But to take this view we must 
presume their guilt, which the argu- 
ments of Herodotus show to be most 



Chap. III. 

any other Greek power.' The aristocratic Egina is 
given the fullest credit for gallant behaviour.^ There 
is no attempt to gloss over faults or failings because 
those to whom they attach agree with the author in 
political opinions, or to exaggerate or imagine defects 
in those of opposite views.* 

Herodotus also is, for a Greeks peculiarly free from 
the defect of national vanity. He does not consider his 
own nation either the oldest,^ or the wisest,* or the 
greatest,* or even the most civilised of all. He loves 
his country dearly, admires its climate,* delights in its 
free institutions, appreciates its spirit and intelligence, 
but he is quite open to perceive and acknowledge 
the special advantages, whether consisting in superior 
antiquity, in products, discoveries, wise laws, or grand 
and striking monuments, of other kingdoms and regions. 
Egypt and Phrygia are the most ancient, India and 
Thrace the most powerful countries ; Babylonia is be- 
yond comparison the most fertile in grain ;^ Scythia the 
most secure against invasion;* Egypt, Babylon, and 
Lydia possess the most wonderful works ;' Ethiopia the 
handsomest and longest-lived men ;^® Media the finest 
horses ;" Arabia, and the other " extremities of the 
earth," the strangest and most excellent commodities." 
Wise laws are noted as obtaining in Persia," Babylonia,^* 
Egypt,'* Venetia •/* inventions of importance are attri- 

• Herod, vii. 150-2 ; ix. 12. 
» Ibid. vii. 181 ; viii. 91-3. 

• If there is any exception to the 
general practice here noted, it is in 
Qie pictures given of Greek tyrants, 
which have the appearance of being 
somewhat overdrawn. See particularly 
the characters of Periander (iii. 48-63 ; 
v. 92, § 6-7), Polycrates (iii. 39, 44, 
123), Histiaeus (iv. 137 ; v. 106 ; vi. 
3, 26, 29), Cypselus (v. 92, § 5), Aris- 
tagoras (v. 37, 124), Arcesilaus III. 
(iv. 164), and Pheretima (iv. 202). 
But the fact that tyrants arc some- 
times praised (i. 59; iii. 142; vii. 

Compare i. 142. 
Compare iv. 198. 

99, &c.) seems to show that at least 
Herodotus has no intention of dealing 
unfairly by this class of men. 

» Herod, ii. 2. * Ibid. iii. 38. 

• Ibid. V. 3. 
« Ibid. iii. 106. 
7 Ibid. i. 193. 

• Ibid. iv. 46. 

• Ibid. i. 93. 

»» Ibid. iii. 20 and 22. Compare 114. 

" Ibid. iii. 106, and vii. 40. 

" Ibid. iii. 106-114. 

" Ibid. i. 136-7. 

" Ibid. i. 196-7. 

»* Ibid. u. 177. " Ibid. i. 196. 




buted to the Lydians/ the Carians,' the Babylonians,* 
the Egyptians,* and the wild races of northern Africa ;• 
the adoption of customs, laws, and inventions from other 
countries by the Greeks is freely admitted;* the in- 
feriority of their great works and buildings to those of 
Egypt receives pointed comment ;' their skill as work- 
men, as sailors, and as builders of ships, is placed in 
unfavourable comparison with that of the Phoenicians, 
especially those of Sidon.* It is seldom indeed that an 
author is found so thoroughly national, and yet at the 
same time so entirely devoid of all arrogant assumption 
of superiority on behalf of his nation. His liberality in 
this respect offers a strong contrast to the general 
practice of his countrymen, whose contempt of "bar- 
barians" was almost equal to that of the Chinese. 

The merits of Herodotus as a writer have never been 
denied or contested. Before attempting any analysis of 
the qualities in which this excellence consists it is im 
portant to consider briefly those faults or blemishes — 
the "anomalies of his genius," as they have been 
called* — which detract from the value of his work as a 
record of facts, and form in strictness of speech his 
defects as a historian. These, according to the verdict 
of modem criticism,^® are three in number — 1. Credulity, 
or an undue love of the marvellous, whether in religion, 
in nature, or in the habits of men ; 2, An over-striving 
after effect, leading to exaggerations, contradictions, 
and an excessive infusion of the anecdotical element 
into his work ; and, 3. A want of critical judgment and 
method, shown in a number of oversights, inaccuracies, 
and platitudes, which cannot be accounted for by either 
of the other habits of mind, but seem the mere result of 

» Herod, i. 94. • Ibid. i. 171. 
" Ibid. ii. 109. 

* Ibid. ii. 4, 82, 109, &c. ; iv. 180. 

* Ibid. iv. 189. 

* Ibid. i. 171; ii. 4, 50, 58, 109, &c. ; 
iv. 180, 189 ; and v. 58. 

7 Ibid. ii. 148. 
« Ibid. vii. 23, 44, and 99. 
® Mure*s Literature of Greece, vol. 
iv. p. 354. 
^0 Ibid. pp. 352 and 409-410. 


the absence of the critical faculty. These defects — the 
existence of which it is impossible to deny — require. to 
be separately examined and weighed, the main question 
for determination being to what extent they counteract 
the natural working of his many excellencies, and so 
injure tiie character of his history. 

It is perhaps not of much importance to inquire how 
far the admitted credulity of Herodotus was the conse- 
quence of the age in which he lived, and so necessary 
and excusable. He will not be the better historian or 
the safer guide for the fact that his contemporaries 
either generally, or even universally, shared his errors. 
Some injustice seems to have been done him by a late 
critic, who judges him by the standard of an age con- 
siderably later, and of a country far more advanced than 
his own.^ But this question does not affect the his- 
torical value of his work, which must be decided on 
absolute, not on relative grounds. The true point for 
consideration is, how far his work is injured by the 
defect in question — ^to what extent it has disqualified 
him for the historian's ofifice. 

Now the credulity of Herodotus in matters of religion 
amounts to this. He believes in the prophetic inspira- 
tion of the oracles, in the fact that warnings are given 
to men through prodigies and dreams, and in the occa- 
sional appearance of the gods on earth in a human 

* Col. Mure represents Herodotus 
as " in all essential respects " a con- 
temporary of Thucydides (p. 361\ 
and even of Aristophanes (p. 353). 
This is unfair. Thucydides probably 
outlived Herodotus some 25 or 30 
years, and wrote his history towards 
the close of his life— after B.C. 404. 
(See Thucyd. i. 21-3 ; ii. 65, sub fin. ; 
V. 26.) Aristophanes was bom after 
Herodotus had recited at Athens, in 
B.C. 444 probably (Schol. Ar. Ran. 
502, Arg. Eq.), and only began to 
exhibit about the time of our author's 
death (in b.c. 427, Herodotus dying 
probably in b.c. 426). These writers 

belong therefore to the generation 
succeeding Herodotus. Pericles and 
Anaxagoras are undoubtedly his **older 
contemporaries," but their minds were 
formed at Athens, not atHalicamassns. 
In the rapid development of Greek 
mental life after the repulse of Xerxes 
Athens took the lead, and soon shot 
far ahead of every other state, while 
Halicamassus, one of the outlying 
portions of the Grecian world, would 
be among the last to receive the im- 
pulse propagated from a far off centre. 
Herodotus, however, was certainly 
behind, while Pericles and Anaxagoras 
were before the age. 


form. He likewise holds strongly the doctrine of a 
divine Nemesis, including therein not only retribution, 
or the visible punishment of presumption and other 
sins, but also jealousy, or the provocation of divine 
anger by mere greatness and prosperous fortune. How 
do these two lines of belief affect his general narrative, 
and how far do they detract from its authenticity ? 

With regard to the former class of supernatural phaa- 
nomena, it must be observed, in the first place, that 
they are for the most part mere excrescences, the 
omission of which leaves the historic narrative intact, 
and which may therefore, if we like, be simply put 
aside when we are employed in tracing the course of 
events recorded by our author. The prodigies of Hero- 
dotus no more interfere with the other facts of his 
history than those which Livy so copiously relates, even 
in his later books,' interfere with his. They may offend 
the taste of the modem reader by their quaintness and 
" firivolity,"' but they are in no way interwoven with 
the narrative so that it should stand or fall with them. 
Omit the swarming of the snakes in the suburbs of 
Sardis, and the flocking of the horses from their pastures 
to eat them before the capture of that city, •and the 
capture itself — nay, even the circumstances of the cap- 
ture — are untouched by the omission. And this remark 
extends beyond the prodigies proper to omens, dreams, 
and even divine appearances. Subtract the story of 
Epizelus from the account of the battle of Marathon, 
or that of Pan and Pheidippides from the circum- 
stances preceding it, and nothing else need be struck 
out in consequence. This cannot indeed be said of the 
oracles, or of the dreams in some instances ; on them 
the narrative occasionally hinges, and we are reduced 
to the alternative of rejecting large portions of the 
story as told by our author, or accepting his facts and 

• Liv. xli. 13 ; xlii. 2, 20 ; xliii. I • Mure, p. 362. 
13 ; zIt. 15y &c. I 



Chap. III. 

explaining them on our own principles. Even if we 
are sceptical altogether as to the prophetic power of 
the oracles/ or as to any divine warning being given to 
the heathen in dreams,* we may still believe that events 
happened as he states them, explaining, for instance, 
the visions of Xerxes and Artabanus by a plot in the 
palace, and the oracles concerning Salamis by the fore- 
sight of Themistocles. Cases, however, of this kind, 
where the supposed supernatural circumstance forms a 
leading feature in the chain of events, are rare, amount- 
ing to not more than four or five in the entire work.* 
It is also worthy of notice that the supernatural circum- 
stances are more numerous, more prominent, and more 
inexplicable on rational grounds in the portion of the 
work which treats of remoter times and less well known 
countries. Without disappearing altogether, they be- 
come more scanty as we approach to Herodotu&'s own 
age, and to the events which form the special subject of 
his history. Thus their interference is mainly with 
those parts of the history of which the authority is even 
otherwise the weakest, and becomes trifling when we 

* Col. Mure speaks somewhat con- 
temptuously of those " pious persons 
who incline to believe in the reality of 
a demoniac inspiration having been for 
some wise purpose conceded by the true 
God to the Delphic Apollo " (l. s. c.) ; 
but he brings no argument agauist 
them except that certain oracles — or 
rather a single oracle, for his reference 
to Herod, ix. 43 is mistaken — ^which 
were not fulfilled in our author's time, 
remain unfulfilled to the present day. 
But no one ever supposed that aU the 
oracles delivered at Delphi or other 
places were inspired. Those who deny 
any demoniac influence to the oracu- 
lar shrines have to explain — 1. The 
passage of the Acts referred to below 
p. 188, note «) ; 2. The fact of the 
efect of oracles soon after the publi- 
cation of Christianity (Plut. de Defect. 
Or. vol. ii. pp. 431-2) ; and 3. The 
general conviction of tne early Chris- 

tian Fathers, that the oracles were in- 


spired. (See Euseb. Prasp. Ev. books v. 
and vi. ; Clem. Alex. Strom, v. p. 728 ; 
Theodoret. Therap. Serm. x. p. 623, 
&c. ; Augustin. de Divin. Daemon. 
Op. vi. p. 370, et seqq. &c.) 

* The dreams of Pharaoh, Abime- 
lech, Nebuchadnezzar, Pilate's wife, 
and Cornelius, are indications that the 
belief of the Greeks in the occasional 
inspirati04 of dreams, which was at 
least as old as Homer — koI yap r 6pop 
(K A(c$ff i<mv. 11. i. 63 — ^haa a found- 
ation in fact. 

• The dream of Astyages concern- 
ing his daughter Mandan^ — ^the satis- 
faction by the Delphic oracle of the 
test offered by Croesus — ^the visions of 
Xerxes and Artabanus — and the fa- 
mous oracle concerning the wooden 
wall and Salamis, are almost the only 
points in the supernatural machinery 
on which any extent of narrative can 
be said to turn. 



descend to those times concerning which our author 
had the best means of obtaining information. 

The mode, however, in which our author's belief in 
this sort of supernatural agency is supposed to have most 
seriously detracted from his historical value is by the 
influence it is thought to have exercised upon the choice 
which he often had to make among various versions of 
a story coming to him upon tolerably equal authority.' 
It is argued that he would be likely to prefer the 
version which dealt most largely in the supernatural 
element, thus reversing the canon of criticism on which 
a modem would be apt to proceed. Nor can it be 
denied that this may sometimes have been the case. 
The supernatural, especially if removed a little from 
his own time, did not shock him, or seem to him in the 
least improbable. He would therefore readily accept it, 
and he would even, it must be allowed, be drawn to it 
as a means of enlivening his narrative. It is however 
imfair to represent him as " a man morbidly intent on 
bringing all the affairs of life into connexion with some 
special display of divine interposition." On more than 
one occasion he rejects a supernatural story or explana- 
tion, preferring to it a plain matter-of-fact account. 
He suggests that when after three days of violent storm, 
during which the Magi strove to appease the wind by 
incantations and sacrifices, the tempest at last ceased, 
it was not so much their sacred rites which had the 
desired effect as that the fury of the gale was spent.® 
He declines to accept the Athenian account of the 
flight of Adeimantus from Salamis, though it includes 
the prodigy of a phantom ship.® He refuses credit to 
the story that Cyrus was suckled by a bitch.^ His 
appetite for the supernatural is therefore not indis- 
criminate, and perhaps if we possessed the complete 

^ Mure, p. 360. 

■ Herod, vii. 191. 

• Ibid. viii. 94. Comp. v. 86. 

* Ibid. i. 122. Further instances 
of what might be called a rationalising 
tendency are ii. 67 and vii. 129 ad fin. 



works of hig contemporaries we should find him far 
oftener than has been suspected preferring a less to a 
more marvellous story.* 

There is one other point of view in which the 
credulity of Herodotus with respect to oracles, pro- 
digies, &c., requires to he considered beforo we ab- 
solutely pronounce it a very serious defect in him as a 
historian. Granting that it detracts somewhat from his 
value as an authentic narrator of facts, has it not a com- 
pensatory advantage in placing him more on a level 
with the mass of his countrymen, in enabling him to 
understand and portray them better, and inducing him 
to put more fully upon record a whole class of motives 
and feelings which did in point of fact largely influence 
their conduct? Would the cold scepticism of Thucy- 
dides have given us a truer picture of the spirit in 
which the Persian attacks were met, — the hopes that 
stimulated, and the belief that sustained a resistance 
almost without a parallel, which may have been mere 
patriotism in the leaders, but in the mass was certainly 
to a great extent the fruit of religious enthusiasm ? Is 
it not a fact that the Greeks of the age immediately pre- 
ceding Herodotus were greatly influenced by oracles, 
omens, prodigies, and the like, and are we not enabled 
to understand them better from the sympathising pages 
of a writer who participated in the general sentimient, 
than from the disdainful remarks of one who from the 
height of his philosophical rationalism looks down with 
a calm contempt upon the weakness and credulity of 

' It is not quite clear what sort of 
"exaggerations'* those were which 
caused Herodotos to reject three ac- 
counts which he had heard of the 
early history of Cyrus (\. 95). Pro- 
bahly, however, they included a num- 
ber of marvellous details, like the 
suckling by a bitch, which he ex- 
pressly discredits. It is certain that 
there were often accounts current 
among the Greeks of transactions in- 

cluded within the sphere of his histoiyy 
wherein the wonderful and supernatural 
played a more important part than he 
assigns to them. Instances are, the 
stoiy of Gyges, as told by Plato ^Rep. ii. 
pp. 369-360), the narmtive of the Per- 
sian retreat contained in iGschylus 
(Pers. 497-509), and, probably, the 
history of the first Persian expedition 
under Mardonius, as Charon gave it. 
(Fr. 3 ; cf. supr^ p. 46.) 

cbap. m. 



the multitude ? At any rate, is it not a happy chance 
which has given ns, in the persons of the two earliest 
and most eminent of Greek historians, the two opposite 
phases of the Greek mind, reUgiousness bordering upon 
superstition, and shrewd practical sense verging towards 
scepticism ? Without the corrective to be derived from 
the work of Herodotus ordinary students would have 
formed a very imperfect notion of the real state of 
opinion among the Greeks on religious matters, and 
many passages of their history would have been utterly 
unintelligible.^ It seems therefore not too much to say 
that we of later times gain more than we lose by this 
characteristic of our author, which qualified him in an 
especial way to be the historian of a period anterior to 
the rise of the sceptical spirit, when a tone of mind con- 
genial to his own was prevalent throughout the Hellenic 
world, and a belief in the supernatural was among the 
causes which had the greatest weight in shaping events 
and determining their general course. 

The belief of Herodotus in the pervading influence 
of the divine Nemesis — a belief which, in the form and 
degree in which it is maintained through his history, 
seems to have been peculiar to himself, and not shared 
in by his compatriots* — is regarded as having worked 
" even more prejudicially to the authenticity of his* nar- 
rative than his vein of popular superstition."* Here 

'As the ferment consequent upon 
the mutilation of the Mercuries, which 
led to the recall and iherehy to the 
alienation of Alcibiades—^nly to be 
explained by the deep religious feeling 
of the mass of the Athenians. (See 
Grote'a Greece, vol. vii. pp. 229-232, 
where this passage of history is very 
properly treated.) 

* A theory of Divine retribution 
was common in Qreece, but it was 
limited to the punishment in this life 
of signal acts of impiety or other wick- 
edness, in the person of the ofifender or 
of hisdescendiuits. (Cf. Herod, ii. 120, 
ad fin., and vi. 75, aii fin.) This liuo 

of thought is very strongly marked in 
uEschylus. The peculiarity in the form 
of the Uerodotean notion consists in 
this — that he regards mere greatness 
and good fortune, apart from any im- 
piety or arrogance, as ])rovoking the 
wrath of God. (See note on book i, 
ch. 32, ])age 178, and compare iii. 40, 
vii. 10, § 5-6 and 46, ad fin.) He also 
seems to consider that every striking 
calamity must be of the nature of a 
visitation (vi. 75 ; vii. 133, &c.), and 
further, he carries the notion of retri- 
butive suffering into comparatively 
insignificant cases (vi. 72, 135). 
* Mure, p. 369. 



Chap. III. 

again the mode in which his belief affected his historic 
accuracy is thought to have been by influencing his 
choice among different versions of the same story. It 
is admitted that he was too honest to falsify his data ;• 
but it is said^ that in " almost every case" there would 
be several versions of a story open to his adoption, and 
he would naturally prefer that one which would best 
illustrate his theory of Nemesis. Undoubtedly where 
the different accounts came to him upon equal or 
nearly equal authority such a leaning might deter- 
mine his choice ; but there is no reason to believe that, 
where the authority was unequal, he allowed himself 
to be improperly biassed by his devotion to the 
Nemesiac hypothesis. The attempts made to prove 
such an undue bias mostly fail,® and it is doubtful 

• Mure, p. 376. 
^ Ibid. p. 369. 

• Col. Mure has brought forward 
four examples of the distortion of his- 
tory by Herodotus in furtherance of 
the Nemesiac theory — viz. the cases 
of Crcesus, Cambyses, Cleomenes, and 
the Spartan heralds, Nicolas and An6- 
ristus. With regard to the first, he 
dwells principally upon the supposed 
anachronism involved in bringing So- 
lon to the court of Croesus, which is 
shown below (i. 29, note *) to be quite 
a possible event. In the case of Cam- 
byses, he looks on Herodotus as hav- 
ing preferred the Egyptian to the Per- 
sian account of his death (which latter 
he thinks to be the true one, and to 
be preserved to us in Ctesias), because 
its features, though highly improbable, 
were retributive (pp. 370-1). But, as 
he confesses in a note, the tale in 
Ctesias is not the Persian, nor the true 
account, but one of that writer's in- 
ventions, and the narrative of Hero- 
dotus is proved by the Behistun in- 
scription to be correct, except in repre- 

.senting the wound which Cambyses 
gave himself as accidental, a point 
which does not help the Nemesis. 
With respect to Cleomenes, he thinks 
that his suicide ought to have been 
ascribed to his habits of drinking ; but 

as it is Herodotus himself who records 
these habits, and the opinion enter- 
tained by the Spartans that the mad- 
ness of Cleomenes arose from them, 
he cannot be said to have perverted, 
or even concealed, history, in order to 
give more likelihood to his o\vn Ne- 
mesiac views. In the fourth case, 
that of the envoys. Col. Mure, com- 
paring Thucyd. ii. 67, supposes that 
there were " two accounts of the affair, 
one describing Nicolas and Andristus 
as two out (^ siXf or but one-third of 
the mission, the other as two out 
of three/* and that Herodotus was 
tempted to prefer the latter number 
by "the broader shadow of plausi- 
bility which it gave to his own case 
of retributive vengeance** (p. 376). 
But there is not the slightest evidence 
of the existence of two stories. Hero- 
dotus nowhere states the number of 
the ambassadors. He probably knew 
the details of the afifair just as well as 
Thucydides, as appears from the mi- 
nuteness of his account (supr^ p. 30. 
note *). His narrative, however, was 
only concerned with the fate of two out 
of the six — namely, Nicolas and Ad6- 
ristus — and he need have mentioned no 
others; it is quite casually, and merely 
on account of his individual eminence, 
that he names Aristeus. In such a 

Chap. III. 



whether there is a producible instance of it.* More- 
over it is beyond the truth to say that in " almost every 
case" there would be several versions ; and when there 
were, it should be borne in mind that it was his general 
practice to give them.^ Further, the theory of Hero- 
dotus certainly is not that " every act of signal folly or 
injustice" must have a special Nemesis ; or at least it is 
not his theory that every such act must have a visible 
Nemesis which can be distinctly attached to it by the 
historian ; for he professes himself at a loss to know 
what punishment the Athenians received for their 
conduct toward the heralds of Darius,' and many in- 
stances even of flagrant impiety are recorded by him 
without any notice of their having drawn down a special 
visitation.* Herodotus is not, therefore, under any very 
strong temptation to warp or bend history in accord- 
ance with the exigencies of his Nemesiac theory ; for 
that theory does not oblige him to show that all crimes 
are punished ; and if it requires him, in the case of 
signal calamities, to assign a cause provocative of them, 
yet as he may find the cause in the conduct of ancestors,* 
in mere anterior prosperity," in fate,* or in an unwitting 

case the mentio unius cannot be taken 
as implying the exdusio plurium. 
Again, Col. Mure seems to think that 
Herodotus purposely concealed the 
*' human Nemesis," which was really 
involved in the transaction. So far 
firom this being the case, Herodotus 
adds a narticukr connected with the 
human Nemesis, which is not given 
by Thucydides — ^viz., that Andristus 
bad himself been enpiged in the 
cruelties which produced the execution 
of the ambassadors by way of repri- 
sals. In fiayct Herodotus would not 
feel that a human interfered with a 
divine Nemesis. 

* Of the cases brought forward by 
Col. Mure^ that of Croesus seems to be 
the only one where history has really 
been distorted to make the Nemesis 
more complete (see Essay i. sub fin.). 

VOL. I. 

As gross an instance is the story of 
Polycrates, where the renunciation of 
alliance by Amasis, and the loss and 
recovery of the ring, seem to be pure 
fictions. But in neither case is it 
quite clear that Herodotus had a 
cnoice between different accounts. 

» See i. 1-5, 19-20, 27, 70, 75, &c. ; 
ii. 181 ; iii. 1-3, 9, 30, &c. ; iv. 5-11, 
150-4 ; V. 85-6 ; vi. 54, 75-84, 121-4 ; 
vii. 213-4, 230 ; viii. 94, 117-120 ; 
ix. 74. 

• Herod, vii. 133. 

» Ibid. i. 60, 159, 160; ii. 124-8 ; 
V. 63, 67 ; vi. 86, 91. 

* As in the case of the heralds, and 
in that of Crcesus to some extent (see 
i. 13, 91). 

* Herod, i. 32 ; iii. 40, 126 ; vii. 
10, § 5. 

• Ibid. i. 8. 



contravention of fate,' no less than in the moral conduct 
of the individual, he cannot experience any great diffi- 
culty in accounting for such calamities without travelling 
beyond the domain of fact into the region of fable and 
invention. It is indeed far more in his choice of facts to 
record than in his choice among different versions of 
^he same facts that our author's favourite theory of 
human life has left its trace upon his history. The 
great moral which he had himself drawn from his wide 
survey of mundane events was that which the word 
" Nemesis,*' taken in its widest sense, expresses. And 
this, his own predominant conviction, he sought to 
impress upon the world by means of his writings. 
Perhaps the chief attraction to him of his grand theme — 
the reason that induced him to prefer it to any other 
which the records of his own or of neighbouring coun- 
tries might have offered — was the pointed illustration 
which it furnished of greatness laid low — of a gradual 
progression to the highest pinnacle of glory and pros- 
perous fortune, followed by a most calamitous reverse.* 
And the principle which may be supposed to have deter- 
mined him in the selection of his main subject had the 
amplest field for exercise when the question was con- 
cerning the minor and more ornamental portions — the 
episodes, as they are generally called — which constitute 
so considerable a part and form so remarkable a feature 
of the History. In the choice of the episodes, and still 
more in the length to which they should be pursued, 
and the elaboration which should be bestowed on them, 
Herodotus appears to have been guided to a very great 
extent, though perhaps unconsciously, by their fitness 
to inculcate the moral lesson which he was especially 
anxious to impress on men. Hence the length and 
finish of the legend of Croesus, and of the histories of 

» Herod, ii. 133. 

"His other work, the history of the 
Assyrian Monarchy, would similarly 

have comprised the rise of an enor- 
mous power, and a still more complete 

Chap. in. 



Cambysee, Polycrates, Cleomenes, Oroetes,* &c. ; hence 
the introduction of such tales as those of Helen/ 
Glaucus,* Pythius,^ Artayctes ;* every occasion is seized 
to deepen by repetition the impression which the main 
narrative is calculated to produce, and thus a space 
quite disproportionate to their historical interest is 
assigned to certain matters which properly belong to 
the narrative, while others which scarcely come within 
the sphere of the narrative at all, find a place in it 
owing to their moral aspect. 

The credulity of Herodotus in respect of marvels in 
nature and extraordinary customs among the remoter 
tribes of men has undoubtedly had the effect of intro- 
ducing into his work a number of statements which the 
progress of our knowledge shows us to be untrue, and 
which detract from the value though they add to the 
entertainingness of his pages. But these fictions are 
not nearly so many as they have recently been made to 
appear ;* and their occurrence is the necessary conse- 

• Herod, iii. 120-8. 
» Ibid. ii. 113-120. 

• Ibid. vi. 86. 

• Ibid. vii. 27-9, 38-9. 

• Ibid. ix. 116-120. 

• Col. Mure has included among 
the " incredible or impossible marvels 
reported by Herodotus " a considerable 
number of statements which there is 
not the slightest reason to question : 
— as the existence of men without 
names in Western Africa (iv. 184), 
the two singular breeds of sheep in 
Arabia, with the contrivance for pre- 
serving the long tails of the one kind 
from injury (iii. 113), the fact of a race 
dwelling upon scaffoldings in the 
middle of lake Prasias, and living upon 
fish (v. 16), the existence of a bald 
race beyond Scythia (iv. 23), the pe- 
culiar form of cannibalism ascribed to 
the MassagetaB (i. 216) and others 
(iii. 99 ; iv. 26), and the eccentric 
customs with regard to women of the 
Nasamonians (iv. 172), Indians (iii. 
101), Caacaaiaos (i. 203), &c. Many 


of these find close parallels in the ob- 
servations of other travellers (see notes 
on iv. 184 ; iii. 113 ; and v. 15) ; 
others are perhaps exaggerations, but 
involve interesting notices of real facts 
see note on iv. 23). Occasionally 
1. Mure helps his argument by a 
mistranslation, as when he says that 
Herodotus describes among other cu- 
riosities found at Plataea, *'a head, 
the skull, jaws, gums, and teeth of 
which were of a single piece of bone " 
(p. 379) ; Herodotus having in fact 
mentioned a skull without sutures, 
t.«. one in which the sutures did 
not api)ear; and also,* as a separate 
marvel, two jaws, an upper and an 
under, wherein the teeth, incisors, and 
grinders (yofu^ioi, " grinders," not 
"^tim*") were joined together and 
formed but a single bone, which is a 
possible result of ossification. This 
is perhaps the grossest instance of the 
kind, but the same spirit of undue 
leaning is shown in representing it as 
unquestionable that Herodotus meant 

H 2 



quence of our author's adoption of a principle which 
the circumstances of the time justified, and to which the 
modem reader is greatly beholden. In dealing with 
this class of subjects he was obliged to lay down for 
himself some rule concerning the reports which he 
received from others, and if he did not resolve to sup- 
press them entirely — a course of proceeding that all 
probably would agree in regretting — he could only 
choose between reporting all alike, whether they seemed 
to him credible or incredible, and making his own 
notion of their credibility the test of their admission or 
rejection. Had he belonged to an age of large ex- 
perience, and to one when travels as extensive as his 
own were common, it might have been best to pursue 
the latter course, trusting to future travellers to com- 
plete from their own observation the blanks which he 
would thus have left voluntarily in his descriptions. 
But Herodotus lived when knowledge of distant coun- 
tries was small, and travels such as his very uncommon ; 
he had been the first Greek visitant in many a strange 
land, and knew that there was little likelihood of others 
penetrating farther, or even so far as himself. He was 
also conscious that he had beheld in the course of his 
travels a number of marvels which he would have 
thought quite incredible beforehand f and hence he felt 
that, however extraordinary the reports which reached 
him of men or countries, they might nevertheless be 
true. He therefore thought it best to give them a 
place in his work, but with the general protest that he 
did not, by recording a thing, intend to declare his own 
belief in it.' Sometimes he takes the liberty of ex- 
pressing, or by a sly innuendo implying, his distinct dis- 
belief ;® sometimes by relating the marvel as a fact, and 

to give his bald men (iv, 23) " un- 
usually long and bushy beardSf** when 
this is only a possible, and not perhaps 
the most probable rendering of ibe pas- 
sage. (See note ad loc,) 

• As the productiveness of Baby- 
lonia, and the size to which plants 
grew there (i. 193). 

^ See book vii. en. 152. 

• As in 11. 28, 56-7, 131 ; iiu 115, 

Chap. in. 



not merely as what is said, he lets us see that he gives 
it credence ;* but generally he is content to reserve his 
own opinion, or perhaps to keep his judgment in sus- 
pense, and simply to report what he had heard from 
those who professed to have correct information.^ And 
to this judicious resolution on his part the modem 
reader is greatly indebted. Had he decided on record- 
ing nothing but what he positively believed, we should 
have lost altogether a number of the most interesting 
portions of his history.* Had he even allowed positive 
disbelief to act as a bar to admission into his pages, we 
should have been deprived of several of the most 
important notices which his work contains. The cir- 
cumstance which is to us incontrovertible evidence of 
the fact — intrinsically so hard to credit — that Africa 
was circumnavigated by the Phoenicians as early as the 
seventh century before our era, the marvel namely 
reported by the voyagers that as they sailed they " had 
the sun on their right," ^ was one which Herodotus dis- 

116 ; W. 25, 31, 32, 36, 42, 105 ; v. 
10 ; and by an innuendo, in iv. 191. 

• As in his account of the Phcenix 
(ii. 73), of the bald men (iv. 23-5), 
of the collection of ladanum from the 
beards of goats (iii. 112), of the sweet 
scent that is wafted from Arabia 
(iii. 113), of the Neuri leaving their 
country on account of serpents (iv. 
105), of the wild asses which did not 
drink Hv. 192), and of the extraordi- 
nary skull and jaws found on the 
field of Plataea (ix. 83). 

» See i. 140, 202 ; ii. 32-3, 75 ; iii. 
20, 23, 104-5, 108-9, 111 ; iv. 96, 
110, 173, 184 ad fin., 195, 196 ; v. 9. 
He often reminds us in the middle of 
an account that he is neither affirming 
nor denying, but only reporting what 
is said — as in iv. 96 — wcpi fitp rovrov 
olht arrurrt^ oiht &p Trurrrvia ri Xiijy. 
iv. 173. Xry« it ravra to, Xtyovai 
Aifiv€s. iv. 195, ravra tl fuv iart aXiy- 
$€wt ovK o2(5a, rh hi Xrycrcu ypd(f>oi>. 
We are not tiierefore entitled to as- 
tame, when Herodotus makes a state- 

ment without any special intimation 
of a doubt of its accuracy, that " he 
believed it himself and intended it to 
be believed by others ** (Mure, p. 380), 
but only that he did not actually 
disbelieve it, and that he thought it 
worthy of the attention of his refers. 
Herodotus does in fact mark by very 
nice shades the degree of credence 
which he claims for his different state- 
ments. Where he believes, he states 
the thing as a fact ; where he doubts 
he tells us it was said ; where be dis- 
believes he calls the statement in 

• As for instance the entire account 
in the second book of the interior of 
Africa, containing notices perhaps of 
the Niger and of Timbuctoo (chs. 
32-3), and great parts of the descrip- 
tion of the north African nations m 
book iv. (chs. 168-196.) 

• Herod, iv. 42. cXryov tfiol fUv 
ov 9ri(rra, cfXX^ dc brf rra>, »s irtpi- 
irkmovT€s r^v AiPinjp t6v ijkiov tfrxop 
fs ra de^ui. 



Chap. m. 

tinctly rejected as surpassing belief. He also saw no 
grounds for admitting the existence of any islands 
called the Cassiterides, or Tin Islands, whence that 
commodity was brought to Greece,* nor any sufficient 
evidence of a sea washing Europe upon the north, from 
which amber was obtained ;* so that had he adopted 
the canon of exclusion which his critics prefer, we should 
have been without the earliest mention which has come 
down to us of our own country — we should have lost 
the proof furnished in the same place of the antiquity 
of our tin trade — and we should have been tmaware 
that any information had reached the Greeks in the 
time of Herodotus of the existence of the Baltic. It 
may fairly be doubted whether the retrenchment of a 
certain number of traveller s tales, palmed upon the 
unsuspectingness of our author by untruthfid persons 
or humourists,' would have compensated for the loss of 
these important scraps of knowledge which we only 
obtain through his habit of reporting even what he 

There is another respect also wherein advantage 
seems to arise to the work of our author from his spirit 

* Herod, iii. 115. 

* Ibid. iii. 115, and compare iv, 45. 

* Even these have perhai)8 been un- 
duly multiplied. At least to me the 
following comparison appears to be 
overstrained — ** The translation sup- 
plied to Herodotus of the inscription 
on one of the larger pyramids repre- 
sented it as 'recording the quantity 
of onions, leeks, and radishes con- 
sumed by the labourers employed in 
the erection of the monument.' Were 
a foreigner, ignorant of the English 
tongue, to ask the meaning of the in- 
scription on the London Monument, 
of some humourist of Fish-street Hill, 
the answer might probably be, that it 
recorded the number of quarts of 
porter and pipes of tobacco consumed 
py the builders of the column : but it 

not likely that he would put faith 

in the statement. Herodotus however 
seems, in the parallel case, to have 
believed his informants implicitly," 
&c. This is to argue that what would 
be unlikely to take place in London 
in the 17th century a.d. would have 
been equally unlikely to happen in 
Egypt in the 20th or 25th century 
B. c. Probabilities will of coiu^ be dif- 
ferently measured by different minds ; 
but to me, I confess, it does not seem 
at all out of keeping with what we 
know of primitive times, tliat the 
greatness of a work should be esti- 
mated by the quantity of food con- 
sumed by those ensued on it, or that 
this estimate should be recorded on 
the work itself. Herodotus, it should 
be borne in mind, does not say that 
this was the only inscription. 


of credulity, which may mitigate the severity of our cen- 
sures on this defect of his mental constitution. Credulity 
is a necessary element in a certain cast of mind, the 
other constituents of which render their possessor 
peculiarly well fitted for the historian's office. The 
simplicity (evriOeia) which Plato requires in the philo- 
sopher' is no less admirable in the writer of history, 
and it is this spirit — ^frank, childlike, guileless, playful, 
quaint — which lends to the work of Herodotus a great 
portion of its attraction, giving it that air of freshness, 
truth, and naivetS which is felt by all readers to be its 
especial merit. We cannot obtain these advantages 
without their accompanying drawback. Writers of the 
tone of Herodotus, such as Froissart, Philip de Comines, 
Sir John Mandeville, and others of our old English tra- 
vellers, are among the most charming within the whole 
range of literature, but their writings are uniformly 
tinged with the same credulous vein which is regarded 
as oflFensive in our author. 

The charge made against Herodotus of an undue 
love of effect finds its most solid ground in that tone of 
exaggeration and hyperbole which often characterises 
his narrative, especially in its more highly wrought 
and excited portions. His statements that the Athenians 
at Marathon were " the first Greeks who dared to look 
upon the Median garb, and to face men clad in that 
fashion,"® and that the island of Samos appeared to the 
commanders of the combined fleet after Salamis "as 
distant as the Pillars of Hercules,"* are rhetorical ex- 
aggerations of this character, and have been deservedly 
reprehended.^ Other instances of the tendency com- 
plained of are, the declaration in the first book that 
Cyrus, by the overthrow of Croesus, became '* master of 
the whole of Asia,'^ and that in the sixth, that if the 

^ Republ. iii. § 16. 
» Herod, vi 112. 
• Jhid, viii. 132. 

' Mure's Lit. of Greece, iv. pp. 
« Chap. 130 ad fin. ; cf. ix. 122. 



Chap. m. 

lonians had destroyed the Persian fleet at the battle of 
Lad6, Darius could have brought against them " another 
five times as greatr^ To the same quality perhaps may 
be ascribed the readiness with which Herodotus accepts 
from his informants extravagant computations of 
numbers, size, duration, &c.,* as well as improbable 
statements with regard to regularity* and completeness, 
the latter sometimes contradicted in his own pages.* His 
constant desire is to set matters in the most striking 
light — to be lively, novel, forcible — and to this desire 
not only accuracy, but even at times consistency, is 
sacrificed. It belongs to his romantic and poetic turn 
of mind to care more for the graphic effect of each suc- 
cessive picture than for the accord and harmony of the 

■ Chap. 13. 

^ As tbe size of the anny of Xerxes 
(vii. 184-7 ; see note ad loc.), the 
number of cities in Egypt in the reign 
of Amasis (ii. 177), the height of the 
walls of Babylon (i. 178 ; see note • 
ad loc.) and of the pyramids (iL 124, 
127), the duration of the Egyptian 
monarchy (ii. 142 ; compare lOOV &c. 

* Instances of improbable r^ularity 
are, the unbroken descent of the 
Lydian Heraclide kings in the line of 
direct succession during twenty-two 
generations (i. 8), the exact corre- 
spondence in the number of Egyptian 
kings and high-priests of Vulcan dur- 
ing a supposed period of 11,340 years 
^ii. 142), and the unbroken hereditary 
aescent of the latter (ii. 143), the oc- 
currence of salt-hills and springs of 
water at intervals of exactly 10 days* 
journey along the whole sandy belt 
extenmng from Egyptian Thebes to 
the west coast of Africa (ir. 181), the 
wonderful productiveness of all the 
world's extremities (iii. 106-116), &c. 

• The entire freedom of the Greeks 
before Croesus (i. 6), the complete de- 
struction of the Samians by Otanes 
(iii. 149), the ^o^ contrast between 
Greek and Egyptian manners (ii. 
35-6), the demditum of the walls 
of Babylon by Darius (iiL 159), the 
general submission of the insular 

Greeks to Cyrus (i. 169*), the cibwiluU 

and the extreme simplicity of the Per- 

invincibility of the Scythians (iv. 46), 

sians before they conquered the Ly- 
dians (i. 71), are specimens. The his- 
tory of the four antecessors of Crce- 
sus upon the throne shows that the 
encroachments of the Lydians upon 
the liberties of the Greeks began with 
Gyges, and continued without inter- 
mission till the complete reduction of 
the lonians, iEolians, and Dorians by 
Croesus (i. 14-16). The prominent 
part played by the Samians in the 
Ionian revolt (vi. 8-15) is incom- 
patible with their extermination by 
Otanes. The non-existence of priest- 
esses in Egyptr— one of the pomts of 
contrast between that country and 
Greece — ^is contradicted expressly (i. 
182 and ii. 54). It appears from the 
description of Babylon (i. 178-180) that 
the great wall, though gaps may have 
been broken in it, was still standing 
when Herodotus wrote. That aU the 
islanders did not submit to Cyrus is 
apparent from the history of Poly- 
crates (iii. 44). The reduction of the 
Scythians by Sesostris is expressly as- 
serted in book ii. (chs. 103 and 110). 
That the Persians began to lay asiae 
their simple habits as soon as they 
conquered the Medes is implied in 
book i. ch. 126. 


whole. His colours are throughout more vivid than 
the sober truth of history can be thought to warrant, 
and the modem critical reader has constantly to supply 
modifications and qualifications in order to bring the 
general tone of the narrative down to the level of 
actual fact. 

Whether the anecdotical vein in which Herodotus so 
freely indulges is fairly referred to this head ' may 
perhaps admit of a doubt. A judicious selection of 
anecdotes forms a portion of the task of the historian, 
who best portrays both individual character and the 
general manners of an age by the help of this light and 
graceful embellishment. That the bulk of our author's 
anecdotes serve their proper purpose in his history — that 
they are characteristic and full of instruction, as well as 
pointed and well told — ^is what no candid and sensible 
reader can hesitate to allow. Perhaps the anecdotical 
element may be justly regarded as over largely de- 
veloped in the work, especially if we compare it with 
other histories ; but we must remember that in the time 
of Herodotus the field of literature had not been par- 
titioned out according to our modem notions. History 
in our sense, biography, travels, memoirs, &c., had not 
then been recognised as distinct from one another, and 
the term laropiaj or " research,'* equally comprehended 
them all. Nor is it easy to see where the knife could 
have been applied, and the narrative pruned down and 
stript of anecdotical details, without the suppression of 
something that we could ill have spared — something 
really valuable towards completing the picture of ancient 
times which Herodotus presents to us. Certainly the 
portions of his work to which the chief objection has 
been made, as consisting of " mere local traditions and 
gossiping stories,"' the " Corinthian court scandal" of 
the third and fifth books,' the accounts of Cyrene and 

f Mure, p. 391. * • Herod, iii. 49-53 ; v. 92. Comp. I 23-4. 



Chap. III. 

Barca in the fourth,* the personal history of Solon/ and 
the wars between Sparta and Tegea in the first,^ are 
not wanting in interest ; and though undoubtedly we 
might imagine their loss compensated by the intro- 
duction of other matters about which we should have 
more cared to hear, yet their mere retrenchment without 
such compensation, which is all that criticism can have 
any right to demand,^ would have diminished and not 
increased the value of the work as a record of facts,* and 
woidd scarcely have improved it even in an artistic 
point of view. The double narrative in the third book 
is skilfully devised to keep up that amount of attention 
to Greek affairs which the author desires to maintain, 
in subordination to the main subject of the earlier or 
introductory portion of his work — the rise and progress 
of the Persian empire, and resembles the underplot in a 
play or a novel, which agreeably relieves the chief 
story. It also, as has been already observed," reflects 
and repeats, in the histories of Periander and of Poly- 
crates, the main ethical teaching of the work, thereby 
at once deepening the moral impression, and helping to 
diffuse a uniform tone throughout the volumes. The 

• Herod, iv. 145-205. 

» Ibid. i. 30-33. • md. i. 66-8. 

■ The subBtance of Col. Mure's com- 
plaints against the episodical portion 
of Herodotus is, that he has not given 
lis something more valuable in the 
place of what he has actually given — 
as, for instance, the real history of Co- 
rinth imder the Cypselidas instead of 
the anecdotes concerning Periander 
(pp. 292-3), the legislation of Solon in 
lieu of his discourse with Crcesus 
(pp. 394-5), the Messenian wars in 
the place of the struggle with Tegea 
(p. 397, note), &c. He thinks we had 
" a right to expect " that Herodotus in 
his episodical notices of the Greek 
states, should have embodied all the 
"more important facts of their his- 
tory " (p. 391). But tliis is to forget 
that Herodotus was not writing the 
history of Greece, but the history of a 

particular war. We had no " right to 
expect " anything from him but what 
possessed a direct bearing upon the 
struggle between Greece and Persia. 
As Niebuhr observes, " the work of 
Herodotus is not an ancient Greek 
history, but has an epic character; it 
has a unity amid its episodes, which 
are retarding motives," — delaying yet 
helping the main story. (See Niebuhi^s 
Lectures on Ancient History, vol. i. 
p. 168. E. T.) 

* The stories of Periander and Po- 
lycrates give us the portrait of the 
Greek tyrant in his worst, and in his 
intermediate, as that of Pisistratus 
does in his best character. Without 
them the abhorrence expressed by He- 
rodotus for rulers of this class would 
strike the reader as strange and exag- 

* See above, page 98. 



history of the Greek colonies in Africa is not only inter 
resting in itself, and in the light it throws upon the 
principles of Hellenic colonisation/ but it serves to intro- 
duce that sketch of the neighbouring nations which has 
always been recognised as one of the most valuable of 
our author's episodes. The fragment of the life of 
Solon is no doubt in some degree legendary, but he 
must be a stern critic who would have the heart to 
desire its retrenchment, seeing that with it must have 
disappeared almost the whole story of Croesus, the most 
beautiful and touching in the entire history. The wars 
of Sparta with Tegea had an intrinsic importance quite 
sufficient to justify their introduction, and the syn- 
chronism of the last with the time of the embassy sent 
by CrcBsus, which forms the sole occasion of the reference 
in the first book to Spartan history, fully explains its 
occurrence in the place assigned to it. Adverse criticism 
therefore seems to fail in pointing out any mere sur- 
plusage even in the anecdotical portion of the work, 
and the truth appears to be that the episodical matter in 
Herodotus is, on the whole, singularly well chosen and 
effective, being lively, varied, and replete with interest. 
To say that Herodotus has no claim to rank as a 
critical historian is simply to note that, having been 
bom before the rise of a certain form of the historical 
science, he did not happen to invent it. That in in- 
telligence, sagacity, and practical good sense he was 
greatly in advance of his predecessors and even of his 
contemporaries, is what no one who carefully reads the 
fragments left us of the early Greek historians will 
hesitate to allow. But a great gulf separates him from 
Thucydides, the real founder of the Critical School. 
From the judgment of Thucydides on obscure points 
connected with the history of the ancient world, the 
modern- critic, if he ventures to dissent at all, dissents 

• Especially uyon the Icadinir part 
taken by the Delphic oracle in direct- 

ing the course of colonisation, and 
forcing the growth of colonies. 



with the utmost diffidence. The opinions of Herodotus 
have no such weight. They are views which an in- 
telligent man living in the fifth century B. c. might 
entertain, and as such they are entitled to attentive 
consideration, but they have no binding authority. 
Herodotus belongs distinctiy to the Bomantic School : 
with him the imagination is in the ascendant and not 
the reason ; his mind is poetic, and he is especially 
disqualified from forming sound judgments concerning 
events remote from his own day by his full belief in the 
popular mythology, which plac^ gods and heroes upon 
the earth at no very distant period. He does not apply 
the same canons of credibility to the past and present, 
or, like Thucydides, view human nature and the general 
course of mundane events as always the same.^ Thus 
his history of early times is little more than myth and 
fable, embodying often important traditions, but de- 
livered as he received it, without any exercise upon it 
of critical discrimination. In his history of times near 
his own the case is different ; he there brings his judg- 
ment into play, compares and sifts different accotmts, 
exhibits sense and intelligence, and draws conclusions 
for the most part just and rational.' StiU even in this 
portion of the history we miss qualities which go to 
form our ideal of the perfect historian, and with which 
we are familiarised through Thucydides and his school ; 
we miss those habits of accuracy which we have learnt 
to regard as among the primary qualifications of the 
historical writer ; we come upon discrepancies, contra- 
dictions, suspicious repetitions, and the like ; we find 
an utter carelessness of chronology ; -above all, we miss 
that philosophic insight into the real causes of political 
transactions, the moving influences whence great events 
proceed, which communicates, according to modem 

^ Thucyd. i. 22. 

' For acknowledgments on this head 

Lthe part of an adverse criticy see 

Mure's Ldt. of Greece, voL iv, pp. 354 
and 410. 




notions, its soul to history, making it a living and 
speaking monitor instead of a mere pictured image of 
bygone timea and circumstances. 

The principal discrepancies, contradictions, &c. in 
the Herodotean narrative have either heen already 
glanced at or will be pointed out in the notes on the 
text. One of the most common is a want of harmony 
in the different portion, of any estimate that i. given 
of numbers. If both the items and the total of a sum 
are mentioned, they are rather more likely to disagree 
than to agree. Making the most liberal allowance for 
corruptions of the text (to which numbers are specially 
liable), it would still seem that these frequent disagree- 
ments must have arisen from some defect in the author : 
either he was not an adept in arithmetic, or he did not 
take the trouble to go through the calculations and see 
that his statements tallied. Numerical discrepancies of 
the kind described occur in his accounts of the duration 
of the Median empire,* of the tribute which the Persian 
king drew from the satrapies,^ of the distance from 
Sardis to Susa,' and of the sea from Egyptian Thebes,* 
of the niunber of the Greek fleet at Salamis,* &c. ; 
while other errors disfigure his computation of the 
number of days in the full term of human life," and of 
the duration of the monarchy in Egypt.* The only 
calculations of any extent which do not contain an 

• Herod, i. 130. See the Critical 
Essays, Essay iii. ad fin. 

' Ibid. iii. 90-5. See note ad loc. 
■ rad. V. 52-4. 

• Ibid. ii. 7-9. From the sea to 
Heliopolis is said to be 1500 stades, 
from Heliopolis to Thebes 4860 stades, 
but from the sea to Thebes only 6120, 
instead of 6360, stades. 

• Ibid. viii. 43-8. See note ad loc. 
» Ibid. i. 32. The double error— 

clearly arising from mere carelessness 
— whereby the solar year is made to 
average 375 days, is explained in the 
note on the passage. 

• Ibid. ii. 142. The error here is 
but slight, yet it is curious. Having 
to estimate the number of years con- 
tained in 341 generations of men, 
Herodotus first lays it down that three 
generations go to the century. He 
then says, correctly, that 300 genera- 
tions wUl make 10,000 years ; but in 
estimating the odd 41 generations, he 
has a curious error. Forty-one gene- 
rations, he says, will make 1340 
years ; whereas they will really make 
1366J years. If a round number were 
intended, it should have been 1360 or 




arithmetical error are the numbers of the Greek fleets 
at Miletus * and Artemisimn,* of the fleet • and army of 
Xerxes,^ and of the Greek army at Plataea,* Contradic- 
tions connected with his habit of exaggeration have 
been already noticed.* Others, arising apparently from 
mere carelessness, are the discrepancies between his 
description of the size of Scythia, and his account of 
the expedition of Darius ; * between his date for Psam- 
metichus* and his estimate of 700 years from Anysis 
to Amyrtaeus ; • between his two accounts of the Tel- 
messian prodigy of the female beard;* his two esti- 
mates of the length of the day's journey ; • and his two 

^ Herod, vi. 8. 

• IbicL viii. 1-2. 

• Ibid. vii. 89-95. 
« Ibid. vii. 184-6. 

• Ibid. ix. 28-9. 

• Supra, p. 104. Col. Mure adds 
to these a number of discrepancies 
which are more imaginary than real. 
(See Appendix J. to his 4th volume.) 
He considers the statement that Croesus 
was *' the person who first within the 
knowledge of Herodotus commenced 
aggressions on the Greeks " (i. 5), as 
conflicting not only with the narrative 
in chs. 14-16, but also with the account 
of the Ionian colonisation of Asia Minor 
in ch. 146. But Herodotus does not 
say that the Greeks colonised at the 
expense of the Lydians, who probably 
dwelt some way inland at that time. 
Again, Col. Mure objects to the pane- 
gyric upon the Alcmseonidae for their 
consistent hatred of tyrants (vi. 121), 
because Megacles had on one occasion 
helped Pisistratus to return (i. 61) ; 
but this is at the utmost a slight rheto- 
rical exaggeration. The Alcmaeonidae, 
from the time when Megacles broke 
with Pisistratus, had been most con- 
sistent in their opposition. (See i. 64 ; 
v. 62-3, 66, &c.) He also sees a 
contradiction between book v. ch. 40, 
where Anaxandrides is said, in main- 
taining two wives and two households 
at the same time, to have '* done an act 
very contrary to Spartan feeling," and 

ch. 61, et seq., where King 

Ariston is said to have had two wives, 
and to have even married a third, 
without any censure or remark at all. 
Hero the flaw is altogether in the 
critic's spectacles : the strange and 
unusual thing being, accor^g to 
Herodotus, not divorce and remarriage, 
as in Ariston*s case Tvi. 63), but Sie 
having two wvves ana two households 
at one and the same time. Ariston 
never had two wives at once, 

* Herod, iv. 101-133. See note on 
book iv. ch. 133. 

* This date cannot be fixed exactly^ 
as Herodotus does not tell us in 
which year of the reign of Cambyses 
he believes him to have invaded Egypt. 
Assuming however the year B.C. 525 
for this event, and taking the years of 
the last six kings from Herodotus, we 
obtain B.C. 671 or B.C. 672 for the year 
of the accession of Psammetichus — a 
date accordant with the S3mchron]sm 
which made him contemporary with 
Cj'axares (i. 105), and asp'eeing nearly 
with the views of Manedio. 

* Herod, ii. 140. According to this 
statement nearly 500 years intervene 
between Anysis and Psammetichus. 
Yet Anysis is contemportry with Sa- 
baco, who puts to death Neoo, the 
father of Psammetichus, and drives 
Psammetichus himself into exile I 
(See Herod, ii. 152.) 

^ Herod, i. 175, and viii. 104. 
» Ibid. iv. 101, and v. 53. 

Chap. III. 



statements of the time that intervened between the 
first and second expeditions directed against Greece by 
Darius.* Repetitions having an awkward and suspicious 
appearance are — the warnings given to Croesus by 
Sandanis,^ and to Darius and Xerxes by Artabanus ; * 
the similar prayers of CEobazus and of Pythius, 
with their similar result;^ the parallel reproaches 
addressed to Astyages by Harpagus, and to Demaratus 
by Leotychides ; * and the anecdote, told of Cyrus, of 
Artaphemes, and of Darius, that on hearing of one 
of the leading Greek nations, they asked " who they 
were ? " • 

The want of a standard chronological era cannot be 
charged against Herodotus as a fault,* since it was a 
defect of the age in which he lived, and one with 
which even Thucydides is equally taxable. It was not 
until Timaeus introduced the reckoning by Olympiads 
some generations after Herodotus, that Greek chrono- 
logy came to be put on a satisfactory footing. Hero- 
dotus, however, is unnecessarily loose and inaccurate in 
his chronological statements, and evidently regards the 
whole subject as unimportant. His reckoning events 
from " his own time " ' is vague and indeterminate, 

• In ch. 46 of book vi. Herodotus 
makes the destruction of their walls 
by the I'hasians at the bidding of 

Darius follow " in the year after 
(dcvr€pa> ft-fi) the loss of the fleet of 
Mardonius at Athos. In ch. 48 he 
says that after the submission of the 
Thaaians (v*rh. roxno) Darius sent 
orders for tne collection of transports ; 
and in ch. 95 these orders are said to 
have been given " the year before " 
(t^ irporcp^ cTCi) the expedition of 
Datis. But towards the end of the 
same chapter the disaster at Athos is 
referred to the year immediately pre- 
ceding that expedition. 
» Herod, i. 71. 

• Ibid. iv. 83, and vii. 10. 

» Ibid. iv. 84, and vii. 38-9. 

♦ Ibid. i. 129, and vi. 67. 

* Ibid. i. 153 ; iii. 134 ; and v. 73. 

• Col. Mure taxes Herodotus with 
being even here " behind the spirit of 
the age " (p. 417), and refers to the 
chronological works of Hellanicus and 
Charon as having introduced a " frame- 
work on which the course of the na- 
tional history was adjusted.*' But 
there is no evidence to prove that 
either Charon or Hellanicus made use 
of their chronological schemes in their 
histories; and the latter is expressly 
taxed by 1'hucydides with inexactness 
in his assignment of dates (i. 97). 
Besides, it has been already shown 
(supra, p. 41) that Hellanicus wrote 
later tlian Herodotus, and that the 
works of Cbaron were probably un- 
known to him. 

' See Herod, ii. 53, and 145. A 



since we do not know whether he means from his 
birth, from his acme, or from the time of his last 
recension, a doubt involving a difference of more than 
half a century. Even when he seems to profess ex- 
actness, there is always some omission, some unesti- 
mated period, which precludes us from constructing a 
complete chronological scheme from the data which he 
furnishes.^ His synchronisms are on the whole less 
incorrect than might have been expected,* but occa- 
sional mistakes occur which a very little care might 
have remedied.^ We may conclude from these that he 
was not in the habit of tabulating his dates or deter- 
mining synchronisms in any other way than by means 
of popular rumour. 

But the great defect of Herodotus as a historian is 
his want of insight into the causes, bearing, and inter- 
connexion of the events which he records. It is not 
merely that he is deficient in political discernment, and 
so relates with the utmost baldness, and with striking 
omissions and misstatements, the constitutional changes 

nearer approach to exactness is made 
when the time of his visit to a country 
is assumed as the epoch fix>m whidb 
to calculate (see ii. 13, and 44) ; but 
still even in tnese cases there is some 

• The Lydian chronology is incom- 
plete fix>m his omitting to state in 
which year of Cyrus Saidis was taken. 
The Assyrian fails from the term of 
tiie anarchy not being specified. The 
later Eg3rptian has the same defect as 
the Lydian : we are not told in which 
vear of the reign of Cambyses he led 
his expedition into Egypt. For the 
early Eg3^tian and the Babylonian we 
have only an estimate by generations. 
The Scythian is indefinite, since, from 
tiie vague way in which the interval 
between the Thracian campaign of 
Megabazus and the breaking out of the 
Ionian revolt is spoken of (ov iroXX^v 
Xp6vov S»€<ris K€uc&y ^vS, it is impos- 
sible to fix the year of iuarius* attack, 

on which the commencement of the 
Scythian monarchy is made to depend 
(iv. 7). The only chronology wnich 
is exact and continuous is me Medo- 
Persian. We may count back from 
the siege of Sestos to the first year of 
Gyrus, and thence to the accession of 
Deioces, which Herodotus placed 229 
years before that event, or B.C. 706. 

* As those of Cyaxares with Alyattes 
(i. 73-4), and of both with Psamme- 
tichus (i. 105), of Sennacherib with 
Sethos the successor of Sabaco (ii. 
lil), of Amasis and Labynetus (Na- 
bunit) with Croesus (i. 77), &c. 

' As the placing the embassy of 
Croesus to Sparta after the final settle- 
ment of Pisistratus on the throne of 
Athens (i. 65), the apparently making 
Periander and AlcaBUs contemnoraries 
with Pisistratus and his son Uegeds- 
tratus (v. 94-5), the assignment of the 
legislation of Lycurgus to the reign of 
Labotas in Sparta (i. 65), &c 


whose occurrence he is led to notice,' but even with 
regard to the important historical vicissitudes which 
form the special subject of his narrative, he exhibits the 
same inability to penetrate below the surface, and to 
appreciate or even to conceive aright their true origin 
and character. Little personal tales and anecdotes take 
the place of those investigations into the condition of 
nations or into the grounds of hostility between races 
on which critical writers of history are wont to lay the 
chief stress in their accounts of wars, rebellions, con- 
quests, and the like. The personal ambition of Cyrus 
is made the sole cause of the revolt of the Persians from 
the Medes ;^ to the resentment of Harpagus is attributed 
its success ;* the attack on Egypt is traced to advice 
given to Cambyses by an eye-doctor ;* the Magian revolt 
is the mere doing of Patizeithes ;• Darius is led to form 
a design against Greece by a suggestion of Democedes f 
the lonians rebel because Aristagoras has become in- 
volved in difficulties.® Through the whole history there 
runs a similar vein ; if war breaks out between Media 
and Lydia, it is because a band of Scyths have caused 
King Cyaxares to banquet on human flesh and have 
then fled to Alyattes ; • if King Darius sends an expe- 
dition against Samos, it is to reward a man who pre- 
sented to him a scarlet cloak ;^" if the Lydians after 
their conquest by the Persians lose their military spirit 
and grow effeminate, it is owing to Croesus having 
advised Cyrus to give them the breeding of women ;" 
everywhere little reasons are alleged, which, even if 
they existed, would not be the causes of the events 
traced to them, but only the occasions upon which the 
real causes came into play." The tales, however, which 

* See the notes on book i. ch. 65, 
book iv. ch. 145, book v. chs. 67-9, 
and book vi. chs. 43 and 83. 

* Herod. 1 126-7. 

* Ibid. chs. 127-8. 

* n)id. iii. 1. 

« Ibid. iii. 01. 7 Ibid. iii. 134-6, 

" Ibid. V. 35-6. » Ibid. i. 73-4. 

»» Ibid. iii. 139. " Ibid. i. 155. 

" The statement of Aristotle con- 
cerning internal troubles applies with 
equal or greater force to wars between 

TOL. !• I 



OHiLF. in. 

take the place of more philosophical inquiries are for the 
most part (it would seem) apocryphal, having been in- 
vented to account for the occurrences by those who failed 
to trace them to any deeper source. From the same 
defect of insight extreme improbabilities are accepted 
by Herodotus without the slightest objection, and diffi- 
culties, from being unperceived, are left unexplained. 
To give a single instance of each : — Herodotus reports, 
apparently without any hesitation, the Persian tale 
concerning the motive which induced Cambyses to 
invade Egypt — that, having applied to Amasis for his 
daughter in marriage, Amasis pretended to comply, but 
sent him the daughter of A pries, a "young girl" of 
great personal charms, whom Cambyses received among 
his wives, and regarded with much favour, till one day 
he learnt from her lips the trick that had been played 
him, whereupon he declared war against the deceiver. 
Now as Amasis had reigned, according to Herodotus, 
forty-four years from the death of Apries, and the 
discovery of the trick was followed closely by the 
invasion, which Amasis did not live to see, it is plain 
that this " beautiful young girl," who had been palmed 
bflf upon Cambyses as the reigning king's daughter, 
must have been a woman of between forty and fifty 
years of age.^ Again — Herodotus tells us, and pro- 

nations : ex fUKpS>v aXX* ov ntpi fiiK- 
p&y — yiyvovroi (Pol. v. 3, § 1. Com- 
pare Polyb. iii. 6-7). 

* See Herod, iii. 1, and compare ii. 
172, and iii. 10. Col. Mure's criticism 
(Lit. of Greece, iv. p. 419) in this 
instance is perfectly just. Almost as 
gross an instance of the same fault 
occurs in the history of Mycerinus. 
Myccrinus succeeds his uncle, Che- 
phren, who has reigned 56 years (ii. 
127-8). He reigns happily for a cer- 
tain indefinite time, during which he 
builds a pyramid of no small size ; 
when, lo I an oracle annoimces to him 
that he has but six more yeaxB to Uve. 

Mycerinus is indignant that he should 
be cut off in the flower of his age — 
reproaches the oracle — and determines 
to falsify it by living twelve years in 
six. So he gives himsef up to jollity, 
drinks and feasts, night as well as day, 
during the time left him, and dies as 
the oracle foretold. Herodotus seems 
quite to have forgotten that Mycerinus 
must have been sixty at the leasts 
when he received the warning, and 
would probably have been consider- 
ably more, as his father Cheops reigned 
60 years, and so would not be likely 
to leave behind him a very young 

Chap. m. 



bability fully bears him out, that the Persian army 
under Datis and Artaphernes landed at Marathon 
because it was the most' favourable position in all 
Attica for the manoeuvres of cavalry,' in which arm 
the Persian strength chiefly lay ; yet when he comes 
to describe the battle no mention whatever is made of 
any part taken in it by the Persian horse, nor any 
account given of their absence or inaction.' A similar 
inability to appreciate difficulties appears in his account 
of the numbers at Thermopylae, where no attempt is 
made to reconcile the apparent discrepancy between 
the list of the forces, the Spartan inscription, and the 
actual number of the slain,^ nor any explanation offered 
of those circumstances connected with the conduct of 
the Thebans in the battle which have provoked hostile 
criticism both in ancient and modern times.* 

There are certain other respects in which Herodotus 
has been regarded as exhibiting a want of critical 
acumen, viz., in his geographical and meteorological 
disquisitions, in his linguistic efforts, and in his treat- 
ment of the subject of mythology.* These may be 
touched with the utmost brevity, since his value as a 
historian is but very slightly affected by the opinion 
which may be formed of his success or failure in such 
matters. As a general geographer it must be allowed 
that his views were indistinct, though they can scarcely 

• Herod, vi. 102. 

■ We are left to derive from another 
writer (Suidas ad voc. XapU UnrtU) 
the infoimation that Miltiades took 
advantage of the absence of the Persian 
cavalry, who had been forced to go to 
a distance for forage, to bring on the 

* According to Herodotus, the entire 
number of the troops, exclusive of the 
helots, was between 4000 and 5000. 
Of these there came from the Pelo- 
ponnese 3100 (vii. 202-3). Yet the 
inscription on the spot, which would 
certainly not exaggerate the number 
on'the Greek side, said 4000 Pelopon- 

nesians (vii. 228). Again, the number 
slain in the last struggle is estimated 
at 4000 rviii. 25) ; but only 300 Spar- 
tans and 700 Thespians were pre- 
viously spoken of as remaining (vii. 
222). These anomalies may perhaps 
admit of explanation ; what is espe- 
cially remarkable about them is, that 
Herodotus seems utterly unconscious 
of any difficulty. 

* See Plut, de Malign. Herod, ii. 
pp. 865-6 ; Grote, Hist, of Greece, v. 
pp. 122-3 ; Mure's Lit. of Greece, iv. 
Appendix K., pp. 542-4. 

• See Colonel Mure's remarks, pp. 



be said with truth to have been " crudely digested/' *• 
Looking upon geography as an experimental science, 
he did not profess more knowledge with regard to it 
than had been collected by observation up to his time. 
He seems to have formed no distinct opinion on the 
shape of the earth, or the configuration of land and 
water, since he could not find that the land had been 
explored to its limits, either towards the north or 
towards the east.® He knew, however, enough of 
the projection of Arabia and of Africa into the south- 
em sea to be aware that the circular plane of Hecatseus 
was a pure fiction, and as such he ridiculed it.* Within 
the limits of his knowledge he is, for the most part, 
very clear and precise. He divides the known world 
into three parts, Europe, Asia, and Africa.*^ Of these, 
Asia and Africa lie to the south, Europe is to the 
north, and extends along the other two.^^ The bound- 
ary line between Europe and Asia runs due east, 
consisting of the Phasis, the south coast of the 
Caspian, the river Araxes, and a line produced thence 
as far as the land continues." The boundary between 
Asia and Africa is the west frontier of Egypt," not 
the isthmus of Suez, or the Nile, which last was com- 
monly made the boundary.^* The general contour of 
the Mediterranean, the Propontis, the Black Sea, and 
the Sea of Azof, is well understood by him," as is the 
shape of Greece, Italy, Asia Minor, Syria, and the 
north coast of Africa. He knows that the Mediterra- 
nean communicates with the ocean, and that the ocean 
extends round Africa to the Arabian Gulf and Ery- 
thraean Sea." He is also aware that the Caspian is a 
Bea by itself. ^^ He has tolerably correct views on the 

f Mure, p. 424. 

■ Herod, iii. 115, sub fin. ; iv. 40, 
45 ; V. 9. 

» n)id. iv. 36. 

»» Ibid. ii. 16 ; iv. 45. The word 
tised by Herodotus is, of course, not 
Africa, but Libya. 

" Ibid. 
»» Ibid. 
" Ibid. 
» Ibid. 
" Ibid. 
"^ Ibid. 

V. 42. 

V. 40 and 45. 

ii. 17 ; iv. 39,- ad fin, 

i. 17, and iv. 45. 

V. 86-86. 

. 202, ad fin. ; iv. 42-4. 

. 203. 




courses of the Nile/ Danube,^ Halys,' Tigris,* Eu- 
phrates,* Indus,* Dnieper,* Dniester,® and other 
Scjrthian rivers.* He is confused, however, in his 
account of the Araxes,^^ incorrect (apparently) in his 
description of the Scythian rivers east of the Dnieper," 
and ignorant of many facts which we should have 
expected him to know, as the existence of the Persian 
Gulf, of the peninsula of Hindustan, and of the sea 
of Aral, the superiority in size of Sicily to Sardinia,^* 
&c. In his descriptions of countries that he knows 
he is graphic and striking," not confining himself to 
the strictly geographical features, but noting also 
geological peculiarities, as the increase of land, the 
quality of soil, and the like.^* On the whole, he will 
certainly bear comparison as a descriptive geographer 
with any author anterior to Strabo, and on some im* 
portant points, as the true character of the Caspian 
Sea, he is better informed than even that writer." 

With regard to meteorology his notions are certainly 
such as seem to us in the highest degree absurd and 
extraordinary. He regards heat and cold as inherent 
in the winds themselves, not as connected with any 
solar influence.^® The winds control the sun, whom 
they drive southwards in winter, only allowing him to 
resume his natural course at the approach of spring." 
The phenomena, however, of evaporation,^^ and even 
of radiation,^* seem to be tolerably well understood by 
Herodotus; and if on the whole his meteorological 
conceptions must be pronounced crude and false, we 


» Herod, ii. 17, 29-31. 

• Ibid. ii. 33 ; iv. 47-9. 

• Ibid. i. 6, 72. 

• Ibid. i. 189, 193 ; v. 20. 

• Ibid. i. 180. « Ibid. iv. 44. 
' Ibid. iv. 53. » Ibid. iv. 61-2. 

• As the Prutb (iv. 48), the Bug 
iv. 52), and the Don or Tanais 
IV. 57). 

"• See note ■ on book i. ch. 201. 

" Herod, iv. 54-6. 

" Ibid. i. 170 ; V. 106 ; vi. 2. 

" Take, for instance, the description 
of Thessaly in book vii. (ch. 129), or 
that of Egypt in book ii. (chs. 6-12). 

»* Herod, ii. 7, 10, 12 ; iv. 47, 191, 

" Comp. Strab. ii. p. 160. 

»• Herod, ii. 24-5. '' Ibid. I. s. c. 

« Loc. cit. " Ch. 27. 



Chap. HI. 

should remember that real physical science did not 
see the light till the time of Aristotle; and it may 
be questioned whether there is not something more 
healthy in the physical speculations of our author, 
which evince an inquiring mind and one that went 
to nature itself for arguments and analogies/ than in 
the physico-metaphysical theories of the Ionic School, 
which formed the furthest reach whereto Science 
(falsely so called) had attained in his day. His 
geological speculations in particular are in advance 
of his age, and not unfrequently anticipate lines of 
thought which are generally regarded as the dis- 
coveries of persons living at the present time." 

On the subject of mythology Herodotus seems to 
have held the common views of his countrymen : he 
accepted the myths in simple faith, and, where natu- 
rally led to do so, reported them as he had heard 
them. He drew, however, a very marked line be- 
tween the mythological age and the historical,* and 
confined his narrative almost entirely to the latter, 
thereby ofifering a strong contrast to the writers who 
had preceded him, since in their works mythology 
either took the place of history,* or at least was largely 
intermixed with it.* 

» See ii. 20, 22, 28. 

• Herodotus perceives the operation 
of the two agencies of fire and water 
in bringing the earth into its actual 
condition (ii. 5, 10 ; vii. 129, kd fin.). 
He regards the changes as having 
occupied enormous periods of time — 
tens of thousands of years (ii. 11, 
ad fin.). His whole reasoning con- 
cerning the formation of the valley of 
the NUe, althou^ perhaps erroneous 
in fact^ is in perfect accordance with 
the principles laid down by Sir C. 
Lyelf; and in his anticipations of 
'what would happen if the Nile were 
made to empty itself into the head of 
the Red Sea that geologist would, it 
is probable, entirely concur. The al- 
luvial character of Uie great Thessalian 

basin, and the disruption of the gorge at 
Temp^, would similarly be admitted. 
Herodotus again is quite correct in his 
remarks about the formation of land 
at the moutiis of great rivers, as at the 
mouth of the Scamander, of the Mean- 
der, and of the Achelous(ii. 10; see note 
ad loc.). His notice of the projection 
of the Delta from the general line of the 
African coast, as a proof of its recent 
origin (ii. 11), is also sound in principle. 

• See especially iii. 122 ; bat com- 
pare also i. 5, ii. 120, &c. ; and note the 
omission of the mythological period, 
of which he was well aware (ii. 43, 46, 
144-5, and 156), from the history of 

• Vide suprk, pp. 38-41. 

• See Thucyd. i. 21. 



The philological deficiencies of Herodotus have 
been already admitted.* There is no reason to believe 
that he was a master of any language besides his own. 
He appears, however, to have regarded the languages 
of other nations with less contempt than was felt 
towards them by the Greeks generally ; and the expla- 
nations which he gives of foreign words, though not 
always to be depended on,* are at once indicative of 
his unwearied activity in the pursuit of knowledge of 
all kinds, and possess an absolute value in the eyes 
of the comparative philologer.® On the etymology of 
Greek words he very rarely touches ; in such cases 
his criticism seems neither better nor worse than that 
of other Greek writers, anterior to the rise of the 
Alexandrian school.* 

The merits of Herodotus as a writer have never 
been questioned. Those who make the lowest esti- 
mate of his qualifications as a historian, are profuse 
in their acknowledgments of his beauties of composi- 
tion and style, by which they consider that other 
commentators upon his work have been unduly biassed 
in his favour, and led to overrate his historical 
accuracy.^ Scarcely a dissentient voice is to be found 
on this point among critical authorities, whether 

• Supr^ p. 71. 

' As in the case of the word Piromis 
(ii. 1^), and of the names of the 
rersian monarchs (vi. 98). 

• 8e« the use made by Grimm of 
Herodotus's Scythian words in his 
History of the German Ijanguage, vol. 
i. pp. 218-237. 

• Herodotus derives Qths from riOrjfu 
Hi, 52), which is at least as good as 
Plato's derivation from 6€<a (Cratyl. 
p. 397, C), and is plausible, though 
probably wrong. (See note ad loc.) 
His derivation of alyis from al^ (iv. 
189), on the other Jiand, is correct 
enough. WTiat he means by deriving 
the nameB of the Greek gods from 
Egypt (ii. 60) is not clear. Except 
in the cases of Themis (the Egyptian 

ThmeC)y and of Athdu^ and Hephaes- 
tus, which may have been formed from 
Neith and PhtJia, there seems to be no 
real connexion. 

^ Speaking of the bulk of modem 
conmientators on Herodotus, Col. Mure 
says : " Dazzled by the rich profusion 
of his historical facts, by the grandeur 
of his historical combinations, by the 
charm of his style, by the truthfulness 
of intention and amiability of temper 
which beam in every page, and by the 
entertainment derived even from the 
defective portions of his narrative, 
they are led to place his work and 
himself, in regard to the higher quali- 
fications of the historian, on the same 
level with that occupied by Thucy- 
dides." (Lit. of Greece, vol. iv. p. 355.) 



Cbap. ni. 

ancient or modem, who all agree in upholding our 
author as a model of his own peculiar order of com- 
position.' In the concluding portion of this notice 
an endeavour will be made to point out the special 
excellencies which justify this universal judgment, 
while, at the same time, attention will be drawn to 
certain qualifying statements whereby the most recent 
of our author's critics has lessened the effect of those 
general eulogiiuns which he has passed upon the literary 
merits of the History. 

The most important essential of every literary com- 
position, be it poem, treatise, history, tale, or aught 
else, is unity. Upon this depends our power of view- 
ing the composition as a whole, and of deriving plea- 
sure from the grasp that we thereby obtain of it, as 
well as from our perception of the harmony and mutual 
adaptation of the parts, the progress and conduct of the 
argument, and the interconnexion of the various portions 
with one another. In few subjects is it so difficiilt to se- 
cure this fundamental groundwork of literary excellence 
as in history. The unity furnished by mere identity 
of country or of race falls short of what is required, 
and hence most general histories are wearisome and 
deficient in interest. Herodotus, by selecting for the 
subject of his work a special portion of the history of 
Greece and confining himself to the narration of events 
having a bearing, direct or indirect, upon his main 
topic, has obtained a unity of action sufficient to 
satisfy the most stringent demands of art, equal, 
indeed, to that which characterises the masterpieces 
of the imagination. Instead of undertaking the com- 
plex and difficult task of writing the history of the 

■ Cf. Arist. Rhet. iii. 9. Dionys. 
Hal. Ep. ad Cn. Pomp. 3. Jud. de 
lliuc. 23. Quinctilian. Inst. Orat. IX. 
iv. 19, and X. i. 73. Lucian. Herod. 1, 
vol. iv. p. 116. A then. Deipn. iii. 15, 
.p. 309. Schlegers Leotar^ on the 

History of Literature, vol. i. p. 44, 
E. T. Matthias, Manual of Greek 
and Roman Literature, p. 67, E. T. 
Mure's Literature of Greece, vol. iv. 
pp. 451-518. 

Chap. UL 



Hellenic race during a given period, he sits down 
with the one (primary) object of faithfully recording 
the events of a particular war. It is not, as has been 
generally said,^ the conflict of races, the antagonism 
between Europe and Asia, nor even that antagonism 
in its culminating form — the struggle between Greece 
and Persia — that he puts before him as his proper 
subject. Had his views embraced this whole conflict, 
the Argonautic expedition, the Trojan war, the inva- 
sion of Europe by the Teucrians and Mysians,* the 
frequent incursions into Asia of the Cimmerians and 
the Treres, perhaps even the settlement of the Greeks 
upon the Asiatic shores, would have claimed their place 
as integral portions of his- narrative. His absolute 
renunciation of some of these subjects,* and his cur- 
sory notice • or entire omission of others,* indicate that 
he proposed to himself a far narrower task than the 
relation of the long course of rivalry between the 
Asiatic and European races. Nor did he even intend 
to give us an account of the entire struggle between 
Greece and Persia. His work, though not finished 
throughout, is concluded,® and its termination with the 
return of the Greek fleet from Sestos, distinctly shows 

■ See Niebuhr's Lectures on Ancient 
Hiatory, vol. i. p. 167, E. T. Dahl- 
mann's Life of Herodotus, ch. vii. § 1 
(p. 102, E. T.). Mure's Literature of 
Greece, vol. iv. pp. 454-5. 

• Herod, vii, 20, ad fin. 

• As the Trojan war, and the voyage 
of the Argonauts (i. 5). 

• As of the Teucrian and Mysian 
expedition (vii. 20), and of the Ionian 
colonization (i. 146 ; vii. 94). 

' As of the incursions of the Treres, 
and the Cimmerian ravages preceding 
their grand attack. (See the Critical 
Essays, Essay i.) 

' It is astonishing to find an author 
t)f Dahlmann's discernment maintain- 
ing that the extant work of Herodotus 
is an " uncompleted performance ;" 
that he " intended to relate the expe- 

dition of Cimon, the great Egyptian 
war of the Athenians, and possibly 
the interference of the Persians in the 
Peloponnesian war, had his life been 
extended " (Life, 1. s. c). He admits 
that the " uncompleted performance " 
has " all the value of a work of art, 
rounded off in all its parts, and con- 
cluded with thoughtful deliberation," 
but attempts no account of the happy 
chance which has given this perfection 
to a mere fragment. Col. Mure, on 
the other hand, has some just remarks 
(p. 468) on the fitness of the point 
selected by Herodotus for the con- 
clusion of his narrative, and the ap- 
propriateness of his winding up the 
whole by the final return home of 
the victorious Athenian fleet from the 


that it was not his object to trace the entire history 
of the Graeco-Persian struggle, since that struggle 
continued for thirty years afterwards with scarcely 
any intermission, until the arrangement known as the 
Peace of Callias. The real intention of Herodotus was 
to write the history of the Persian War of Invasion 
— the contest which commenced with the first expe- 
dition of Mardonius, and terminated with the entire 
discomfiture of the vast fleet and army collected and 
led against Greece by Xerxes. The portion of his 
narrative which is anterior to the expedition of Mar- 
donius is of the nature of an introduction, and in 
this a double design may be traced, the main object 
of the writer being to give an account of the rise, 
growth, and progress of the great Empire which had 
been the antagonist of Greece in the struggle, and his 
secondary aim to note the previous occasions whereon 
the two races had been brought into hostile contact. 
Both these points connect intimately with the prin- 
cipal object of the history, the one being necessary 
in order to a correct appreciation of the greatness of 
the contest and the glory gained by those with whom 
the victory rested, and the other giving the causes 
from which the quarrel sprang, and throwing import- 
ant light on the course of the invasion and the conduct 
of the invaders. 

Had Herodotus confined himself rigidly to these 
three inter-connected heads of narration, the growth 
of the Persian Empire, the previous hostilities between 
Greece and Persia, and the actual conduct of the great 
war, his history would have been meagre and deficient 
in variety. To avoid this consequence, he takes every 
opportunity which presents itself of diverging from his 
main narrative and interweaving with it the vast 
stores of his varied knowledge, whether historical, 
geographical, or antiquarian. He thus contrived to 
set before his countrymen a general picture of the 




world, of its various races, and of the preyions history 
of those nations which possessed one ;• thereby giving 
a grandeur and breadth to his work, which places it 
in the very first rank of historical compositions/ At 
the same time he took care to diversify his pages by 
interspersing amid his more serious matter tales, anec« 
dotes, and descriptions of a lighter character, which 
are very graceful appendages to the main narrative, 
and happily reHeve the gravity of its general tone. 
The variety and richness of the episodical matter in 
Herodotus forms thus one of his most striking and 
obvious characteristics, and is noticed by all critics;' 
but in this very profusion there is a fresh peril, or 
rather a multitude of perils, and it may be questioned 
whether he has altogether escaped Ihenu Episodes 
are dangerous to unity. They may overlay the main 
narrative and oppress it by their mere weight and 
number: they may be awkward and ill-timed, inter- 
rupting the thread of the narrative at improper places : 
or they may be incongruous in matter, and so break in 
upon the harmony which ought to characterise a work 
of art. In Herodotus the amount of the episodical matter 
is so great that these dangers are increased propor- 
tionally. Nearly one half of the work is of this secondary 
and subsidiary character.' It is, however, palpable 
to every reader who possesses the mere average amount 
of taste and critical discernment, that at least the great 
danger has been escaped, and that the episodes of 

• There are two remarkable excep- 
tions whith require notice. Herodotus 
gives us no history either of Phcenicia 
or ^f Carthage. In the hitter case 
there is sufficient reason for his silence, 
bat his omission of any sketch of 
Phoenician history is very surprising. 
He certainly ought to have given an 
account of the conquest or submission 
of the great naval power, in which case 
a sketdi of its previous history would 
have been ahxiost necessary. Is it 

possible that ignorance kept him mlent ? 

^ The only parallels to Herodotus 
in this respect which modem literature 
furnishes, are Gibbon's Decline and 
Fall of Rome and the recent work of 
Mr. Grote, 

' See, among others, Dahbnanii 
fLife (k Herod, p. 164), Kiebnhr 
(Lectures on Ancient History, vol. L 
p. 168), and Col. Mure (Lit. of Greece, 
vol. iv. j^. 458-462). 

■ Vide aiipA, p. 29. 



Chap. m. 

Herodotus, notwithstanding their extraordinary length 
and number, do not injure the unity of his work, or 
unduly overcharge his narrative. This result, which 
" surprises '* the modem critic,* has been ascribed with 
reason to " two principal causes — the propriety of the 
occasion and mode in which the episodical matter is 
introduced, and the distinctness of form and substance 
which the author has imparted to his principal masses."* 
By the exercise of great care and judgment, as well as 
of a good deal of self-restraint • in. these two respects, 
Herodotus has succeeded in completely subordinating 
his episodes to his main subject, and has prevented 
them from entangling, encumbering, or even implea- 
Bantly interrupting the general narrative. 

While, however, the mode in which Herodotus has 
dealt with his episodical matter, is allowed to be in 
the main admirable, and to constitute one of the 
triumphs of his genius, objection is made to a certain 
number of his episodes as inappropriate, while others 
are regarded as misplaced. The history of the Greek 
colonies of Northern Africa, contained in the fourth 
book,* and the sketch of the native Libyan races, which 
forms a part of the same digression,® are thought to 
be superfluous, the connexion between the affairs of 
the countries described and the main narrative being 
too slight to justify the introduction, at any rate, of 
such lengthy notices.* The story of Rhampsinitus, in 
the second book,^ is objected to, as beneath the dignity 
of history,' and the legend of Athamas in the seventh,' 
as at once frivolous and irrelevant.* Among the 

* Mure, p. 459. * Ibid. loc. cit. 

• This self-restraint is shown both 
in his abstaining from the introduction 
of important heads of history, if they 
did not connect naturally with his 
narrative, and also in his treatment 
of the lustories of countries upon which 
his subject led him to enter. On the 
latter pomt, see Col. Mure's remarks, 

vol. iv. pp. 460-1. To the former head 
may be referred the omission of any 
history of Carthage. 

' Clis. 145-167 and 200-205. 

• Chs. 168-199. 

• Mure, page 462. 
» Ch. 121. 

■ Mure, page 464. 

• Ch. 197. ♦ Mure, page 465. 



digressions^ considered to be out of place,* are the 
** Summary of Universal Geography," included in the 
chapter on Scythia,* the account of the river Acis in 
Book III.,* the story of the amours of Xerxes,' and the 
tale of Artayctes and the fried fish in Book IX.,* the 
letter of Demaratus at the close of Book VII.,^ and the 
anecdote of Cyrus, with which the work is made to 
terminate.' Much of this criticism is too minute to 
need examination, at any rate in this place. The 
irrelevancy or inconvenient position of occasional 
single chapters or parts of chapters, constitutes so 
slight a blemish, that the literary merit of the work 
is scarcely affected thereby, even if every alleged case 
be allowed to be without excuse.^ In only four or 
five instances is the charge made at all serious, since in 
no greater number is the " inappropriate " or " mis- 
placed " episode one of any length. The longest of all 
is the digression on CyrSn^ and Barca, where the 
connexion with the main narrative is thought to be 
" slight," and the subject itself to possess " little his- 
torical interest." * But, if we regard it as one of the 
especial objects of Herodotus in the introductory por- 
tion of his work to trace the progress of hostilities 
between Persia and (rreece, we shall see that an 
account of the expedition of Aryandes was absolutely 
necessary; and as that expedition was not a mere 
wanton aggression, but was intimately connected with 
the internal politics of Cyrene, some sketch of the 

• Mure, pp. 463-4: and note ; alao 
pp. 468-9. 

• Herod, iv. 37 et seq. 
^ Ibid. ch. 117. 

• Ibid. ix. 108-113. 
» Ibid. ch. 120. 

» Ibid. ch. 239. 

■ Ibid. ix. 122. 

' Five cases are of this extreme 
brevity, viz., the legend of Athamas, 
the account of the river Acis, the tale 
of Artayctes, the letter of Demaratus, 

and the anecdote of Gyrus. Some- 
thing might be said in favour of al- 
most all these short episodes ; but even 
were it otherwise, uie difficulty (ad- 
mitted by Col. Mure, p. 464, note ') 
under which ancient authors lay from 
the non-existence in their time of such 
inventions as foot-notes and appen- 
dices would be sufficient to excuse a 
far more numerous list of apparently 
frivolous or ill-placed digressions. 
* Mure, page 462. 



Chap. III. 

previous history of that State was indispensable. With 
regard to the intrinsic interest of the episode, opinions 
may vary.* To the Greeks, however, of his own age, 
for whom Herodotus wrote, the history of an outlying 
portion of the Hellenic world, rarely visited and little 
known by the mass of the nation, especially of one so 
peculiarly circumstanced as Cyr6n^, alone amid bar- 
£rou8 tribes and the sole independent representative 
of the Greek name in Africa,® may have been far 
more interesting t^han it is to us, more interesting than 
any of those omitted histories which, it is thought, 
Herodotus should have put in its place. It has been 
observed that we cannot always perceive the object 
of Herodotus in introducing his episodes ;» sometimes, 
no doubL he may have intended " to supplant incorrect 
account^- but perhaps his design as often was to 
communicate information on obscure points ; and this 
object may have led him to treat at so much length 
the history of the African settlements. 

With regard to the digression upon the Libyan 
nations, it must be acknowledged that it is introduced 
in a somewhat forced and artificial manner. Had 
Aryandes, satrap of Egypt, really designed the reduc- 
tion of these tribes under his master's sway, and under- 
token an expedition commensurate with that grand 
and magnificent object, Herodotus would have been 
as fully entitled to give an account of them as he is 
to describe the Scythians and their neighbours. But 

' To me the narrative a{^)ear8 to 
present Beveral points of very great 
interest. I have elsewhere noticed 
the important light that it throws 
upon the influence which the Delphic 
oracle exercised on the course of Greek 
colonisation. Other interesting features 
are the original friendliness, and sub- 
sequent hostility of the natives (chs. 
158 and 159); the calling in of a 
foreign legislator, and him an Ionian 
(ch. 162) ; the conftitution which that 

legislator devised (ibid.) ; and the 
transplantation of the captured Bar- 
c^ans to the remote &ictria (ch. 

• The colony of Naucratb was 
within the jurisdiction of the rulers of 
Egypt, and besides was a mere fac- 

' Niebuhr's Lectures on Ancient 
History, vol. i. p. 168, note. 

' Ibid, loc cit. 


there are grounds for disbelieving the statement of 
Herodotus with regard to Aryandes' designs. As 
Dahlmann long ago observed, ** no such plan appears 
in the actual enterprise." • Herodotus seems to have 
ascribed to the Persian governor an intention which 
he never entertained, in order to furnish himself with 
an ample pretext for bringing in a description pos- 
sessing the features which he especially affected — 
novelty, strangeness, and liveliness. He need not, 
however, have had recourse to this artifice. Apart 
from any such project on the part of the Persian chief, 
Herodotus was entitled to describe the nations through 
whose country the troops passed, and the various 
tribes bordering upon the Cyrenaica ; after which he 
might fairly have brought in the rest of his informa* 
tion. This information was wanted to complete the 
geographic sketch of the known world which he 
wished to set before his readers ; and the right place 
for it was certainly that where the tribes in question 
were, at least partially, brought into hostile collision 
with Persia, and where an account was given of 
Cyr^n^ and Barca, colonies situated in the midst of 
them, and established in order to open a trade between 
them and the Greeks. 

The episode on universal geography is thought to 
be at once superfluous and out of place.^ In addition 
to the detailed notices of particular countries which 
Herodotus so constantly supplies, no general descrip- 
tion of the earth was, it is said, " either necessary or 
desirable." This criticism ignores what its author 
elsewhere acknowledges — the intimate connexion of geo- 
graphy with history when Herodotus wrote — the fact 
that the " accurate division of literary labour which is 
consequent on a general advance of scientific pursuit/' * 
was not made till long subsequently. As geography 

• Life of Herodotus, ch. vii. § 6, I * Mure, page 463. 
page 123. { * Ibid, page 456. 


jand history in this early time " went hand in hand," ' 
it would seem that in a history which, despite the 
restricted aim of its main narrative, tended to become 
BO nearly universal by means of digressions and epi- 
sodes, the geographic element required and naturally 
obtained, a parallel expansion. Wi£h respect to the 
place where the " description of the earth," if admitted 
at all, should have been inserted, which, it is sug- 
gested, was " the earlier portion of the text," that 
portion " which treats of the great central nations of 
the world, Assyrians, Egyptians, and Persians," * it is 
at least open to question whether a better opportunity 
could have been found for introducing the description 
without violence in any of the earlier books, than is 
furnished by the inquiry concerning the existence of 
Hyperboreans, to which the account of Scythia leads 
naturally, or whether any position would have been 
more suitable for it than a niche in that compartment 
of the work which is specially and pre-eminently 
geographic. As the general account of the earth is 
a question concerning boundaries and extremities, its 
occurrence " in connexion with a remote and bar- 
barous extremity " * is not inappropriate, but the 

The story of the amours of Xerxes interrupts, it 
must be allowed, somewhat disagreeably the course of 
the principal narrative, then rapidly verging to a 
conclusion, and is objectionable in an artistic point of 
view. It seems, however, to be exactly one of those 
cases in which " the historian of real transactions lies 
imder a disadvantage as compared with the author in 
the more imaginative branches of composition." • To 
have omitted the relation altogether would have been 
to leave incomplete the portraiture of the character of 
Xerxes, as well as to fail in showing the gross corrup- 

• Mure, page 68. I » Ibid. loc. cit. 

• Ibid, page 463. j • Ibid, page 452. 


tion, SO characteristic of an Oriental dynasty, into 
which the Persian court had sunk, within two gene- 
rations from the simplicity of Cyrus. And if the 
story was to be inserted, where could it most naturally 
come in ? It belonged in time to the last months of 
the war,' and personally attached to a certain Masistes, 
whom nothing brought upon the scene till after 
Mycal^.® Historic propriety, therefore, required its 
introduction in a place where it would detract from 
artistic beauty ; and Herodotus, wisely preferring 
matter to manner, submitted to an artistic blemish for 
the sake of a historic gain. 

The legend of Rhampsinitus, which is correctly said 
to "belong to that primeval common fund of low 
romance " * of which traces exist in the nursery 
stories and other tales of nations the most remote and 
diverse, would certainly offend a cultivated taste if it 
occurred in a history of the Critical School ; but in 
one which belongs so decidedly to the Romantic School 
it may well be borne, since it is not out of keeping 
with the general tone of that style of writing. Stand- 
ing where it does, it serves to relieve the heaviness 
of a mere cs^talogue of royal names and deeds, the 
dullest form in which history ever presents itself. 

On the whole there seems to be reason to acquiesce 
in the judgment of Dahlmann, who expresses his 
"astonishment" at hearing Herodotus censured for 
his episodes, and maintains that they are "almost 
universally connected with his main object, and in- 
serted in their places with a beauty which highly dis- 
tinguishes them." ^ 

Next in order to the two merits of epic unity in plan, 
and rich yet well-arranged and appropriate episode, 
both of which the work of Herodotus seems to possess 

' Herod, ix. 108. T6T€b( cV rfjcri 
SopdcflTt Cflt>v &pa iXfp^s"] TJpa ttjs 
MaflTtoTco) yvvtUKos, 

VOL. I, 

' Ibid. ch. 107. » Mure, page 464. 
* Life of Herodotus, ch. ix. p. 164, 
E. T. 


in a high degree, may be mentioned the excellency of 
his character-drawing, which, whether nations or indi- 
viduals are its object, is remarkably successful and 
effective. His portraiture of the principal nations with 
which his narrative is concerned — the Persians, the 
Athenians, and the Spartans — is most graphic and 
striking. Brave, lively, spirited, capable of sharp 
sayings and repartees,* but vain, weak, impulsive, and 
hopelessly servile towards their lords,^ the ancient 
Persians stand out in his pages as completely depicted 
by a few masterly strokes as their modern descendants 
have been by the many touches of a Chardin or a 
Morier. Clearly marked out from other barbarian races 
by a lightness and sprightliness of character, which 
brought them near to the Hellenic type, yet vividly 
contrasted with the Greeks by their passionate abandon * 
and slavish submission to the caprices of despotic power, 
they possess in the pages of Herodotus an individuality 
which is a guarantee of truth, and which serves very 
remarkably to connect them with that peculiar Oriental 
people — the " Frenchmen of the East," as they have 
been called — at present inhabiting their country. 
Active, vivacious, intelligent, sparkling, even graceful, 
but without pride or dignity, supple, sycophantic, 
always either tyrant or slave, the modem Persian 
contrasts strongly with the other races of the East, who 
are either rude, bold, proud, and freedom-loving, like 
the Kurds and Affghans, or listless and apathetic, like 
the Hindoos. This curious continuity of character, 
which however is not without a parallel,* very strongly 
confirms the truthfulness of our author, who is thus 
shown, even in what might seem to be the mere oma- 

■ Herod, i. 127, 141 ; vi. 1 ; viii. sian into revolt (see ix. 113). 
88, &c. * Hero<l. viii. 99 ; ix. 24. 

■ See particularly the story of Prex- * A similar tenacity of character is 
aspes (iii. 35). Note also their sub- observable in the case of the Greeks 
mission to the whip (vii. 66, 223). themselves, in that of the Germans 
It requires an accimiulation of the (comp. Tacit. German.), and that of 
most grievous injuries to goad a Per- the Spaniards. 


mental portion of his work, to have confined himself to 
a representation of actual realities. 

To the Persian character that of the Greeks offers, 
in many points, a strong contrast — a contrast which is 
most clearly seen in that form of the Greek character 
which distinguished the races of the Dofic stock, and 
attained its fullest development among the Spartans. 
Here again the picture drawn by Herodotus exhibits 
great power and skill. By a small number of carefully- 
managed touches, by a few well-chosen anecdotes, and 
by occasional terse remarks, he contrives to set the 
Spartans before us, both as individuals and as a nation, 
more graphically than perhaps any other writer. Their 
pride and independent spirit, their entire and wiUin^ 
submission to their laws, their firmness and solidity as\ 
troops, their stern sententiousness relieved by a touch ] 
of humour,* are vividly displayed in his narrative. At 
the same time he does not shrink from showing the 
dark side of their character. The selfishness, back- 
wardness, and over-caution of their public policy,' their 
cunning and duplicity upon occasion,^ their inability 
to resist corrupting influences and readiness to take 
bribes,* their cruelty and entire want of compassion, 
whether towards friend or foe,^ are all distinctly noted, 
and complete a portrait not more striking in its features 
than consonant with all that we know from other 
sources of the leading people of Greece. 

Similar fidelity and descriptive power are shown in 
the picture which he gives us of the Athenians. Like 
the Spartans, they are independent and freedom-loving, 
brave and skilful in war, patriotic, and, from the time 
that they obtain a form of government suited to their 
wants, fondly attached to it. Like them, too, they are 

• Herod, iii. 46 ; vii. 226 ; ix. 91. i » Ibid. iii. 148 ; v. 51 ; vi. 72 ; ix. 
' Ibid. i. 152 ; vi. 106 ; viii. 4, 63 ; 82. 

ix. 6-8, 46-7. ' Ibid. vi. 79-80 ; vii. 133, 231 (cf. 

• Ibid. vi. 79, 108 ; ix. 10. ix. 71, nnd i. 82 ad fin.) 

K 2 



Chap. III. 

cruel and unsparing towards their adversaries.* Unlike 
them, they are open in their public policy, active and 
enterprising almost to rashness, impulsive and so 
changeable in their conduct,^ vain rather than proud,* 
as troops possessing more dash than firmness,* in 
manners refined and elegant;* witty,' hospitable,' 
magnificent,® fond of display,^® capable upon occasion 
of greater moderation and self-denial than most Greeks," 
^nd even possessing to a certain extent a generous 
spirit of Pan-Hellenism.^* Herodotus, in his admiration 
of the services rendered by the Athenians to the com- 
mon cause during the great war, has perhaps over- 
estimated their pretensions to this last quality ; at least 
it will be found that enlightened self-interest sufficiently 
explains their conduct during that struggle ; and cir- 
cumstances occurring both before and after it clearly 
show, that they had no scruples about calling in the 
Persians against their own countrymen when they 
expected to gain by it.^^ It ought not to be forgotten 
in any estimate of the Athenian character, that they 
set the example of seeking aid from Persia against their 
Hellenic enemies. The circumstances of the time no 
doubt were trying, and the resolve not to accept aid at 
the sacrifice of their independence was worthy of their 
high spirit as a nation ; but still the fact remains that 
the common enemy first learnt through the invitation 
of Athens how much she had to hope from the internal 
quarrels and mutual jealousies of the Greek states. 

« Herod, v. 71 ; vii. 133, 137, ad fin. 

• Comp. V. 97, 103, with vi. 21 ; 
and vi. 132 with 136. 

• Ibid. i. 143. 

• The Athenians are rarely success- 
ful when they act merely on the de- 
fensive — they are defeated with great 
slaughter when attacked by the Egi- 
netans on one occasion (v. 85-7) ; thej' 
fly before the mixed levies of Pisis- 
tratus (i. 63 ; they share in the Ionian 
defeat at E])hesus (v. 102). On the 
other hand their yictories are gained 

by the vigour and gallantry of their 
attack (vi. 112 ; ix. 70, 102). 

• Herod, vi. 128-130. 
^ Ibid. viii. 59, 125. 

• Ibid. vi. 35. 

• Note the frequent mention of 
their success in the games, a great 
sign of liberal expenditure (Hercd. v. 
71; vi. 36, 103, 122, 125, &c.) 

>« Herod, viii. 124. 

" Ibid. vii. 144 ; ix. 27. 

» Ibid. vii. 139 ; viii. 3 and 144. 

»■ Ibid.v.73;Thucyd.viii.48et8eq. 


In depicting other nations besides these three-who 
play the principal parts in his story — Herodotus has 
succeeded best with the varieties of barbarism existing 
upon the outskirts of the civilised world, and least well 
with those nations among whom refinement and cultiva- 
tion were at the highest. He seems to have experienced 
a difficulty in appreciating any other phase of civihsa- 
tion than that which had been developed by the Greeks. 
His portraiture of the Egyptians, despite its elaborate 
finish, is singularly ineffective ; while in the case of the 
Lydians and Babylonians, he scarcely presents us with 
any distinctive national features. On the other hand, 
his pictures of the Scythians, the Thracians, and the 
wild tribes of Northern Africa, are exceedingly happy, 
the various forms of barbarism being well contrasted 
and carefully distinguished from one another. 

Among the individuals most effectively portrayed 
ty our author, may be mentioned the four Persian 
monarchs with whom his narrative is concerned, the 
Spartan kings, Cleomenes, Leonidas, and Pausanias, the 
Athenian statesmen and generals, Themistocles and 
Aristides, the tyrants Periander, Polycrates, Pisistratus, 
and Histiaeus the Milesian, Amasis the Egyptian king, 
and Croesus of Lydia. The various shades of Oriental 
character and temperament have never been better 
depicted than in the representation given by Herodotus 
of the first four Achaemenian kings — Cyrus, the simple, 
hardy, vigorous mountain chief, endowed with a vast 
ambition and with great military genius, changing, as 
his empire enlarged, into the kind and friendly paternal 
monarch — clement, witty, polite, familiar with his 
people ; Cambyses, the first form of the Eastern tyrant, 
inheriting his father's vigour and much of his talent, 
but spoilt by the circumstances of his birth and breed-' 
ing, violent, rash, headstrong, incapable of self-restraint, 
furious at opposition, not only cruel but brutal ; Darius, 
the model Oriental prince, brave, sagacious, astute, 



Cea?. nL 

great in the arts both of war^ and peace, the organiser 
and consolidator as well as the extender of the empire, 
a man of kind and warm feeling, strongly attached to 
his friends,^ clement and even generous towards con- 
quered foes,^ only severe upon system where the well- 
being of the empire required an example to be made ; * 
and Xerxeg, the second and inferior form of the tyrant, 
weak and puerile as well as cruel and selfish, fickle, 
timid, licentious, luxurious,, easily worked on by cour- 
tiers and women, superstitious, vainglorious, destitute 
of all real magnanimity, only upon occasion ostenta- 
tiously parading a generous act when nothing had 
occurred to ruffle his feelings.* Nor is Herodotus less 
successful in his Hellenic portraits. Themistocles is 
certainly better drawn by Herodotus than by Thucy- 
dides. His political wisdom and clearsightedness, his 
wit and ready invention, his fertility in expedients, his 
strong love of intrigue, his curious combination of 
patriotism with selfishness, his laxity of principle 
amounting to positive dishonesty,^ are all vividly 
exhibited, and form a whole which is at once more 
graphic and more complete than the sketch furnished 
by the Attic writer. The character of Aristides pre- 
sents a new point for admiration in the skill with which 
it is hit off* with the fewest possible touches. Mag- 
nanimous, disinterestedly patriotic, transcending all his 
countrymen in excellence of moral character and espe* 

* Col. Mure says that ** the general 
policy of Darius was directed rather 
to the consolidation than the exten- 
sion of his dominions " (p. 476), and 
denies his possession of any military 
genius; hut tbe king who added to 
the empire the Indian satrapy (Herod, 
iv. 44), the Chersonese (vi. 33), great 
part of Thrace (iv. 93 ; v. 10), Pajonia 
(v. 15), Macedon (vi. 44), and the 
Greek islands (iii. 149 ; v. 26-7 ; vi. 
49), cannot be considered to have dis- 
regarded the enlargement of his em- 
pire ; and the successful subduer of 

so many revolts (i. 130 ; iii. 160-160 ; 
cf. Behist. Ins.), the conqueror of 
Thrace (iv. 93), and the not unsuc- 
cessful conductor of the Scythian cam- 
paign, cannot be fairly said to have 
wanted military talent. 

• Herod, iii. 140, 160; iv. 143 ; v. 
11 ; vi. 30. 

» Ibid. vi. 20, 119. 

* Ibid. iii. 119, 128, 159 ; iv. 84, 
166 ; v. 25. 

* Ibid. vii. 29, 136. 

• See Herod, viii. 4-5, 58, 108-110, 


cially in probity, the simple straightforward statesman 
comes before us on a single occasion,' and his features 
are portrayed without effort in a few sentences. In 
painting the Greek tyrants, whom he so much detested, 
Herodotus has resisted the temptation of representing 
them all in the darkest colours, and has carefully gra- 
duated his portraits from the atrocious cruelties and 
horrible outrages of Periander to the wise moderation 
and studied mildness of Pisistratus. The Spartan 
character, again, is correctly given under its various 
aspects, Leonidas being the idealized type of perfect 
Spartan heroism, while Pausanias is a more ordinary 
specimen of their nobler class of mind, brave and 
generous, but easily wrought upon by corrupting in- 
fluences,* Cleomenes and Eurybiades being represen- 
tatives of the two forms of evil to which Spartans were 
most prone, — Eurybiades weak, timorous, vacillating, 
and incapable; Cleomenes cruel, false, and violent, — 
both alike open to take bribes, and ready to sacrifice 
the interests of the state to their own selfish ends. 

It is not often that Herodotus bestows much pains 
on the character of an individual who does not belong 
to one or other of the two nations with which he is 
principally concerned, viz. the Greeks and the Persians. 
But in the sketches of Croesus and Amasis he has 
departed from his general rule, and has presented us 
with two pictures of Oriental monarchs, offering a re- 
markable contrast to the Persian kings and to each 
other. The character of Croesus is rather Hellenic 
than barbarian ; he is the mildest and most amiable of 
despots ; a tender and affectionate parent, a faithful 
friend, a benevolent man. He loves his Lydians even 
after they have ceased to be his subjects ; • he kindly 

' Herod, viii. 78-9. ' the comipting influence of wealth and 

■ See the anecdote of Pausanias luxury on a Si>artan is very cleverly 

banqueting, in the text of Mardonius shown. 

(ix. 82), where the first working of ' • Herod, i. 156. 


receives the fugitive Adrastus, who has no claim on 
his protection, and freely forgives him after he has 
been the unhappy means of inflicting on him the most 
grievous of injuries. Besides possessing these soft and 
gentle qualities, he is hospitable and magnificent, 
lavishly liberal to those from whom he has received any 
benefit,^ religious, and though unduly elated by pro- 
sperity, yet in the hour of adversity not unduly de- 
pressed, but capable of profiting by the lessons of 
experience. Amasis is a ruler of almost equal mild- 
ness ; like Croesus, he has a leaning towards the Greeks ; 
he is also, like him, prosperous, and distinguished for 
liberality and magnificence ; * Egypt flourishes greatly 
under his government, and both his internal adminis- 
tration and his foreign policy are eminently successful.' 
Thus far there is a remarkable parallelism between the 
character and circumstances of the Egyptian and the 
Lydian monarch ; but in other respects they are made 
to exhibit a strong and pointed contrast. Amasis is a 
man of low birth and loose habits ; from his youth he 
has lived by his wits an easy, gay, jovial life, winning 
the favour both of monarch and people by his free 
manners and ready but coarse humour. When he 
becomes king, though he devotes himself with great 
zeal to the despatch of business, and enacts laws of the 
utmost severity against such idle and unworthy mem- 
bers of society as he had himself been in time past, yet 
he carries with him into his new station the same love 
of good living and delight in low and vulgar pleasantry 
which had signalised the early portion of his career. 
This last feature, which is the leading one of his cha- 
racter, effectually distinguishes him from the elegant 
and polished Croesus, born in the purple, and bred up 
amid all the refined amenities of a luxurious court. In 
another respect the opposition between the two princes 

« Herod, i. 602, 54 ; vi. 126. | • Ibid. ii. 177, 182 ad fin. 

• Ibid. ii. 176-6, 180, 182. 



is even more striking— so striking, indeed, as almost 
to appear artificial. Amasis, though owing more to 
fortune than even the Lydian monarch, is not dazzled 
by her favours, or led to forget the instability of all 
things human, and the special danger to the over- 
prosperous man from the "jealousy" of Heaven, His 
letter to Polycrates * strongly marks this fact, which in 
the mind of Herodotus would serve to account for the 
continued and xmchequered prosperity of the Egyptian 
king — so different from the terrible reverse which befell 
the too confident Lydian. 

The power of Herodotus to portray female character 
is also worthy of notice. Unlike Thucydides, who 
passes over in contemptuous silence the part played by 
women in the transactions which he undertakes to 
record,^ Herodotus seizes every opportunity of adding 
variety and zest to his narrative by carefully introducing 
to our notice the females concerned in his events. In 
Nitocris we have the ideal of a great Oriental queen, 
wise, grand, magnificent, ostentatious ; prophetic in her 
foresight, clever in her designs, splendid in the execu- 
tion of whatever works she takes in hand ; the beautifier 
at once and the skilful protector of her capital ; bent on 
combining utility with ornament, and in her works of 
utility having regard to the benefit of the great mass of 
her subjects. With her Tomyris, the other female cha- 
racter of the first book, contrasts remarkably. Tomyris 
is the perfection of a barbaric as Nitocris is of a civilised 
princess. Bold and warlike rather than sagacious or 
prudent, noble, careless, confident, full of passion, she 
meets the great conqueror of the East with a defiant, 
almost with a triiunphant, air, chivalrously invites him 
to cross her frontier unmolested, only anxious for a fair 

* Herod, iii. 40. 

• The omission of any reference to 
Aspasia, considering her political in- 
fluence and connexion with PericleB, 

is very remarkable. Thucydides men- 
tions but one woman by name in the 
whole course of his narrative. (See ii. 


fight, disdainful of petty manoeuvres, and unsuspicious 
of artifices. When the civilised monarch has deluded 
and entrapped her son, she shows a single trait of 
womanly softness, consenting to waive the vindication 
of her people's honour upon the condition of receiving 
back her captured child. On the failure of her appli- 
cation and the extinction of her last hope by the 
voluntary death of that unhappy youth, nothing is 
left her but an undying grief and a fierce and quick 
revenge. At the head of her troops she engages and 
defeats her son's destroyer ; and as he falls in the thick 
of the fight, she vents her wrath on his dead body by 
insult, mutilation, and defilement, in the true spirit of 
an outraged and infuriated barbarian. The whole 
icharacter is in excellent keeping, and, however unhis- 
toric, is certainly most true to nature. 

As the diversities of female character among the 
non-Hellenic races are exhibited to our view in the 
persons of Tomyris and Nitocris, so in the slight sketch 
of Gorgo and the more elaborate portraiture of Arte- 
misia Herodotus has given us opposite and agreeable 
specimens of female character among the Greeks. 
Gorgo is the noble, Artemisia the clever woman. 
Gorgo's sphere is the domestic circle, Artemisia's the 
world. Artemisia leads fleets, advises monarchs, fights 
battles, governs a kingdom — Gorgo saves her father in 
the hour of temptation, and becomes the fitting bride 
of the gallant and patriotic Leonidas. Still neither 
character is a mere simple one. Gorgo adds sense and 
intelligence to her high moral qualities,* and Artemisia 
real courage to her prudence and dexterity ; ' but these 
features are subordinate, and do not disturb the general 
effect of contrast, which is such as above stated. Al- 
though both ladies belong to races of the Doric stock, 
Gorgo alone is the true model of a Dorian woman ; 

• Herod, vu. ad fin. | ' Ibid. iii. 119. . 


Artemisia represents female perfection, not according 
to the Doric, but according to the ordinary Greek 
type. The Dorians of Asia seem to have lost most of 
their distinctive features by contact with their Ionian 
neighbours, and Artemisia may be almost regarded as 
an embodiment of Ionian excellence. 

It greatly enhances the artistic merit of these por- 
traitures, and the pleasure which the reader derives 
from them, that the characters are made to exhibit 
themselves upon the scene by word and action, and are 
not formally set before him by the historian. Hero- 
dotus never condescends to describe a character. His 
men and women act and speak for themselves, and 
thereby leave an impression of life and individuality 
on the reader's mind, which the most skilful word- 
painting would have failed of producing. This is one 
of the advantages arising from that large use by He- 
rodotus of the dramatic element in his history, in which 
it is allowed that he " has been far more generally suc- 
cessful than any other classical historian." ^ 

To his skill in character-drawing Herodotus adds a 
power of pathos in which few writers, whether histo- 
rians or others, have been his equals. The stories of 
the wife of Intaphernes weeping and lamenting con- 
tinually at the king's gate,® of Psammenitus sitting in 
the suburb and seeing his daughter employed in servile 
offices and his son led to death, yet " showing no sign," 
but bursting into tears when an old friend accosted him 
and asked an alms ; ^ of Lycophron silently and sadly 
enduring everything rather than hold converse with a 
father who had slain his mother, and himself suffering 
for his father's cruelties at the moment when a pros- 
perous career seemed about to open on him, are ex- 
amples of this excellence within the compass of a single 
book which it would be difficult to parallel from the 

Mure, page 600. | • Ibid. iii. 14. » Ibid. iii. 60-3. 



Chap. III. 

entire writings of any other historical author. But the 
most eminent instance of the merit in question is to be 
found in the story of Croesus. It has been well ob- 
served that " the volume of popular romance contains 
few more beautifully told tales that that of the death of 
Atys ;" * and the praise might be extended to the whole 
narrative of the life of Croesus from the visit of Solon 
to the scene upon the pyre, which is a masterpiece of 
pathos, exhibiting tragic power of the highest order. 
The same power is exhibited in a less degree in the 
stories of the siege of Xanthus,^ of Tomyris,* of Q5o- 
bazus,^ of Py thius,* of Boges,' and of Masistes.* In the 
last of these cases, and perhaps in one or two others, 
the horrible has somewhat too large a share ; in all, 
however, the pathetic is an important and well-deve- 
loped element. 

It has been maintained that Herodotus, though ex- 
cellent in tragic scenes, was " deficient in the sense of 
the comic properly so called."* His "good stories'* 
and " clever sayings " are thought to be " not only 
devoid of true wit, but among the most insipid of his 
anecdotical details." The correctness of this judgment 
may be questioned, not only on the general ground, 
that tragic and comic power go together,^ but by an 
appeal to fact — the experimentum cmcis in such a case. 
It is of course not to be expected in a grave and serious 
production like a history, that humorous features 
should be of frequent occurrence : the author's posses- 
sion of the quality of humour will be sufficiently shown 
if even occasionally he diversifies his narrative by 
anecdotes or remarks of a ludicrous character. Now in 
the work of Herodotus there are several stories of 
which the predominant characteristic is the humorous ; 

■ Mare's Lit. of Greece, vol. iv. p. 

• Herod, i. 176. 

• Ibid. i. 21SM. » Ibid. iv. 84. 

• IHd. TiL dft-40. 

' Ibid. vii. 107. 
■ Ibid. ix. 108-113. 

• Mure, page 508. 

* See the Sjrmpoeium of Plato, sub 

Chap. III. 

THE ludicrous: 


as, very palpably, the tale of AlcmaBon's visit to the 
treasury of Croesus, when, having " clothed himself in 
a loose tunic, which he made to bag greatly at the 
waist, and placed upon his feet the widest buskins that 
he could anywhere find, he followed his guide into the 
treasure-house," where he " fell to upon a heap of gold- 
dust, and in the first place packed as much as he could 
inside his buskins between them and his legs, after 
which he filled the breast of his tunic quite full of gold^ 
and then sprinkling some among his hair, and taking 
some likewise in his mouth, came forth from the 
treasure-house scarcely able to drag his legs along, 
like anything rather than a man, with his mouth crammed 
full, and his bulk increased every way."* The laughter 
of Croesus at the sight is echoed by the reader, who has 
presented to him a most ridiculous image hit off with 
wonderful effect, and poeticised by the touch of imagina- 
tion, which regards the distorted form as having lost 
all semblance of humanity. It would be impossible to 
deny to Herodotus the possession of a sense of the 
comic if he had confined himself to this single exhibi- 
tion of it. 

As a specimen of broad humour the instance here 
adduced is probably the most striking that can be 
brought forward from the pages of our author.^ But 
many anecdotes will be found scattered through them, 
in which the same quality shows itself in a more sub- 
dued and chastened form. It will be enough to refer, 
without quotation, to the well-known story of Hippo- 
elides,* to the fable of Cyrus,** the retorts of Bias, Gelo, 
and Themistocles,* the quaint remark of Megacreon,^ the 

■ Herod, vi. 125. 

■ Other instances of a broad and 
somewhat coarse humour are to be 
found in the story of Artaphernes' 
reply to Histiaeus (vi. 1), and of the 
message which Amasis sent to Apries 
by Patarbemis (ii. 162). 

• Herod, vi. 129. 

• Ibid. i. 141. 

• Ibid. i. 27 ; vii. 162 ; and viii. 

' Ibid. vii. 120. Col. Mure finds 
this story ** insipid," but most readers 
are amused by the lightheartednesa 



Chap. III. 

cool observation of Dieneces, and the two answers 
given by the Spartans to the envoys of Samos.® Be- 
sides these anecdotical displays of a humorous vein, 
Herodotus often shows his sense of the comic in his 
descriptions of the manners and customs of barbarous 
nations. A striking example is his account of the 
Scythian mode of sacrificing in the fourth book, where 
he concludes his notice with the remark that " by this 
plan your ox is made to boil himself j and other victims 
also to do the like." ' The same vein is clearly ap- 
parent in the enumeration, contained in the same book, 
of the animals said to inhabit the African " wild-beast 
tract," — " this is the tract in which the huge serpents 
are found, and the lions, the elephants, the bears, the 
aspicks, and the horned asses. Here, too, are the dog^ 
faced creatures, and the creatures without heads, whom 
the Libyans declare to have their eyes in their breasts, 
and also the wild men and the wild women, and many 
other far less fabulous beasts." ^ Touches of humour 
also serve to relieve his accounts of cannibalism, and 
prevent them from being merely horrible, as such sub- 
jects are apt to become in most writers. Of this nature 
is his remark when speaking of the Padaeans, who put 
persons to death s^ soon as they were attacked by any 
malady, to prevent their flesh from spoiling, that " the 
man protests he is not ill in the least, but his friends will 
not accept his denial ; in spite of all he can say they 
kill him and feast themselves on his body."* A very 
keen sense of the ludicrous is implied by this perception 
of something laughable in scenes of the greatest horror. 
Perhaps the most attractive feature in the whole 

wbicli could make a joke out of a 
calamity. The other ** good saying " 
with which he finds fault (that of 
Me«^bazus concerning the site of By- 
Eaotium, iv. 144) is not recorded by 
Herodotus as a witty, but as a judi- 
cious remark. 

• Herod, vii. 226. • Ibid. iv. 61. 
' Ibid. iv. 191. 

* Ibid. iii. 99. Compare the de- 
scription of cannibalism among the 
Massagetffi in the last chapter of book 
i., where the humour is far more sub- 
duedy but still is very peroeptibk. 


work of Herodotus — that which prevents us from ever 
feeling weariness as we follow him through the nine 
books of his history — is the wonderful variety in 
which he deals. Not only historian, but geographer, 
traveller, naturalist, mythologer, moralist, antiquarian, 
he leads us from one subject to another, — 

" From grave to gay, from lively to severe, — ** 

never pursuing his main narrative for any long time 
without the introduction of some agreeable episodical 
matter, rarely carrying an episodical digression to such 
an extent as to be any severe trial to our patience. 
Even as historian, the respect in which he especially 
excels other writers is the diversity of his knowledge. 
Contriving to bring almost the whole known world 
within the scope of his story, and throwing every- 
where a retrospective glance at the earliest beginnings 
of states and empires, he exhibits before our eyes a sort 
of panoramic view of history, in which past and pre- 
sent, near and remote, civilised kingdoms and barbarous 
communities, kings, priests, sages, lawgivers, generals, 
courtiers, common men, have all their place — a place 
at once skilfully assigned and properly apportioned to 
their respective claims on our attention. Blended 
moreover with this profusion of historic matter are 
sketches of religions, graphic descriptions of countries, 
elaborate portraitures of the extremes of savage and 
civilised life, striking moral reflections, curious antiqua- 
rian and philosophical disquisitions, legends, anecdotes, 
criticisms — not all perhaps equally happy, but all 
serving the purpose of keeping alive the reader's 
interest, and contributing to the general richness of 
effect by which the work is characterised. Again, 
most remarkable is the variety of styles which are 
assumed, with almost equal success, in the descriptions 
and anecdotes. The masterly treatment of pathetic 
subjects, and the occasional indulgence, with good effect, 



Chap. HI. 

in a comic vein, have been already noticed. Equal 
power is shown in dealing with such matters as are 
tragic without being pathetic, as in the legend of 
Gyges,^ the story of the death of Cyrus,* the descrip- 
tion of the self-destruction of Cleomenes,* and, above 
all, in the striking scene which portrays the last 
moments of Prexaspes.* In this, arid in his accoimt 
of the death of Adrastus,* Herodotus has, if anywhere, 
reached the sublime. Where his theme is lower, he 
has a style peculiarly his own, which seems to come to 
him without effort, yet which is most difficult of attain- 
ment. It is simple without being homely, familiar 
without being vulgar, lively without being forced or 
affected. Of this, remarkable and diversified specimens 
will be found in the history of the birth and early years 
of Cyrus,® and in the tale — which reads like a story in 
the Arabian Nights — of the thieves who plundered the 
treasury of Rhampsinitus.* Occasionally he exhibits 
another power which is exceedingly rare — that, namely, 
of representing the grotesque. The story of Arion has 
a touch of this quality,'® which is more fully displayed 
in the account of the funeral rites of the Scythian kings." 
Still more remarkable, and still more important in its 
bearing on the general effect of his work, is the dra- 
matic power, so largely exhibited in the abundant 
dialogues and in the occasional set speeches wherewith 
'his narrative is adorned, which by their contrast with 
the ordinary historical form, and their intrinsic excel-, 
lence generally,^* tend more perhaps than any other 






Herod, i. 8-12. 
n)id. i. 212-4. 
Ibid. vi. 75. 
Ibid. iii. 75. 
Ibid. i. 45. 
Ibid. i. 108-122. 
Ibid. ii. 121. 
Ibid. i. 24. 

" Ibid. iv. 71-2. 

" The set speeches of the three con- 

spirators in favour of democracy, aris- 
tocracy, and monarchy respectively 
(iii. 80-2), must be excepted from this 
commendation. They are not above 
the average of sophistical themes on 
the subject, and they are wholly un- 
suited to the characters and circum- 
stances of the persons in whose mouths 
they are put. (See the foot-note ad 


single feature, to enliven his pages, and to prevent the 
weariness which is naturally caused by the uniformity 
of continued narration. 

Another excellence of Herodotus is vivid description, 
or the power of setting before us graphically and dis- 
tinctly that which he desires us to see. This faculty 
however he does not exhibit equally in all subjects. 
Natural scenery, in common with the ancients gene- 
rally, he for the most part neglects ; and his descrip- 
tions of the great works constructed by the labour of 
man,^ although elaborate, fail in. conveying to the 
minds of his readers any very distinct impression of 
their appearance. The power in question is shown 
chiefly in his accounts of remarkable events or actions, 
which portions of his narrative have often all the beauty 
and distinctness of pictures. Gyges in the bedchamber 
of Candaules,* Arion on the quarter-deck chanting the 
Orthian,® Cleobis and Bito arriving at the temple of 
Juno,* Adrastus delivering himself up to Croesus,* 
Megacles coming forth from the treasure-house,* are 
pictures of the simplest and most striking kind, present- 
ing to us at a single glance a scene exactly suited to form 
a subject for a painter. Sometimes however the de- 
scription is more complex and continuous. The charge 
of the Athenians at Marathon,* the various contests 
and especially the final struggle at Thermopylae,® the 
conflict in the royal palace at Susa between the Magi 
and the seven conspirators,® the fight between Onesilus 
and Artybius,*® the exploits of Artemisia at Salamis," 
the death of Masistius and the contention for his body,** 
are specimens of excellent description of the more com- 

* As the barrow of Alyattcs (i. 93), 
the temple of Behis at Babylon (i. 
181), the p^Tamids (ii. 124, 127, 134), 
the labyrinth (ii. 14b), and the bridge 
of Xerxes (vii. 36). 

* Herod, i. 9-10. 
" Ibid. i. 24. | " Ibid. viii. 87. 

* Ibid. i. 31. 1 " Ibid. ix. 22-3. 

VOL. I. L 

* Ibid. i. 45, sub init. 

• Ibid. vi. 125. See the last page. 
' Ibid. vi. 112. 
« Ibid. vii. 210-2 ; 223-5. 
*• Ibid, iil 78. 
»« Ibid. V. 111-2. 



CttAP. m. 

plicated kind, wherein not a single picture, but a suc- 
cession of pictures, is exhibited before the eyes of the 
reader. These description, possess aU the energy, life, 
and power of Homeric scenes and battles, and are cer- 
tainly not surpassed in the compositions of any prose 

The most obvious merit of our author, and the last 
which seems to require special notice, is his simplicity. 
The natural flow of narrative and sentiment throughout 
his work, the predominant use of common and familiar 
words, the avoidance of all meretricious ornament and 
rhetorical artifice, have often been remarked, and have 
won the approbation of almost all critics. With He- 
rodotus composition is not an art, but a spontaneous 
outpouring. He does not cultivate graces of style, or 
consciously introduce fine passages. He writes as his 
subject leads him, rising with it, but never transcending 
the modesty of nature, or approaching to the confines 
of bombast. Not only are his words simple and com- 
mon, but the structure of his sentences is of the least 
complicated kind. He writes, as Aristotle observes,' 
not in laboured periods, but in sentences which have a 
continuous flow, and which only end when the sense 
is complete. Hence the wonderful clearness and trans- 
parency of his style, which is never involved, never 
harsh or forced, and which rarely allows the shadow of 
a doubt to rest upon his meaning. 

The same spirit, which thus affects his language and 
mode of expression, is apparent in the whole tone and 
conduct of the* narrative. Everything is plainly and 
openly related ; there is no affectation of mystery ; we 
are not tantalised by obscure allusions or hints ; * the 

* See Arist. Rhet. iii. 9. Aris- 
totle defines the Xc^ir €ipoti€vrj, or 
"continuous style," as "that which 
has in it^lf no termination, un- 
less the matter under narration be 
terminated" — {fj avdiy ?x** rikos 

KoB* avTTjPf iiv fi^ t6 npayfia \ty6fi*vop 


* The only exception is in the 
account of Egypt, where religious 
scruples occasionally interfere to dieck 
his uaxLbl openness. 

Cbap. ra. SELF-PORTRAITURE. 147 

anthor freely and fully admits us to his confidence, is 
not airaid to mention himself and his own impressions ; 
introduces us to his informants ; tells us plainly what 
he saw and what he heard ; allows us to look into his 
heart, where there is nothing that he needs to hide, and 
to become sharers alike in his religious sentiments, his 
political opinions, and his feelings of sympathy or 
antipathy towards the various persons or races which 
he is led to mention. Hence the strong personal im- 
pression of the writer which we derive from his work, 
whereby, despite the meagre notices that remain to us 
of his life, we are made to feel towards him as towards 
an intimate acquaintance, and to regard ourselves as 
fully entitled to canvass and discuss all his qualities, 
moral as well as intellectual. The candour, honesty, 
amiability, piety, and patriotism of Herodotus, his 
primitive cast of mind and habits, his ardent curiosity, 
his strong love of the marvellous, are familiar topics 
with his commentators, who find his portrait drawn by 
himself with as much completeness (albeit unconsciously) 
in his writings, as those of other literary men have been 
by their professed biographers. All this is done more- 
over without the slightest afi'ectation, or undue intrusion 
of his own thoughts and opinions ; it is the mere result 
of his not thinking about himself, and is as far removed 
from the ostentatious display of Xenophon ^ as from the 
studied concealment of Thucydides. 

While the language, style, sentiments, and tone of 
narrative in Herodotus are thus characterised, if we 
compare him with later writers, by a natural simplicity 
and freedom from effort, which constitute to a consider- 
able extent the charm of his writing, it is important 
to observe how greatly in all these respects he is in 
advance of former prose authors. Justice is not done 
to his merits unless some attention be given to the 

' See Anab. ni. i. § 4-47, and thenceforth passim. 



Chap. III. 

history of prose composition before his time, and some- 
thing like a comparison instituted between him and his 
predecessors. With Herodotus simplicity never de- 
generates into baldness, or familiarity into what is rude 
and coarse. His style is full, free, and flowing, and 
offers a most agreeable contrast to the stiff conciseness, 
curt broken sentences, and almost unvaried construc- 
tion, of previous historians. If we glance our eye over 
the fragments of the early Greek writers that have 
come down to our times, we shall be surprised to find 
how rude and primitive, how tame, bald, and spiritless 
the productions appear to have been, even of the most 
celebrated historians anterior to, or contemporary with 
our auttor. A few specimens are subjoined* of the 


* Hecat8BU8 of Miletus commenced 
liis historical work, the ' Genealogies/ 
as follows : — 

"Thus saith Hecataeus the Mile- 
sian : That which I write, I write as 
the tnith seems to me. For the stories 
which the Greeks tell are many, and 
to my mind ridiculous." 

The longest of his extant fragments 
is thus translated hy Col. Mure (Lit. 
of Greece, vol. iv. p. 161) : — 

" Orestheus, son of Deucalion, ar- 
rived in ^tolia in search of a king- 
dom. Here his dog produced him a 
green plant. Upon which he ordered 
uie dog to be buried in the earth ; and 
from its body sprang a vino fertile in 
^pes. Hence he called his son 
rhytius. The son of Phytius was 
(Eneus, so named after the vine-plant. 
For the antient Greeks called the vine 
(£na. The son of (Eneus was JStd- 

The fragments of Xanthus are very 
brief, and of these only one is cited in 
his exact words. It shows no great 
advance on the style of Hecataeus : — 

" From Lydus descend the Lydians, 
from Torrhebus the Torrhebians. In 
language these two races differ but 
little ; and to this day they borrow 
from one another no few words, lik^ 
the lonians and the Dorians.*' 

Another, which is probably very 

close to his phraseology, is the follow- 
ing :— 

" The Magians marry their mothers 
and their daughters. They hold it 
lawful also to marry their sisters. 
Their wives are common property; 
and when one wishes to take the wife 
of another, they use no fraud nor vio- 
lence, but the thing is done by con- 

Of Charon of Lampsacus we possess 
a passage of some length, which may 
be given in the translation of Col. 
Mure Tvol. iv. pp. 169-170) :— 

" The Bisaltians waged war against 
the Cardians, and were victorious in a 
battle. The commander of the Bi- 
saltians was called Onaris. This 
man, when a youth, had been sold as 
a slave in Cardia, and had been made 
by his master to work at the trade of a 
barber. Now there was an oracle cur- 
rent among the Cardians, that about 
that time they should bo invaded by 
the Bisaltians ; and this oracle was 
a frequent subject of conversation 
among those who frequented the bar- 
ber's shop. Onaris, having effected 
his escape home, persuaded his coun- 
trymen to invade Cardia, and was 
himself appointed leader of the expe- 
dition. But tlie Cardians were accus- 
tomed to teach their horses to dance 
to the sound of the flute in their 

Chap. III. 



style of writing customary in his day, from which the mo- 
dem reader may form a tolerable estimate of the interval 
which separated Herodotus, as a writer, from those who 
had preceded him — an interval so great as to render 
the style of composition which he invented a sort of 
new art, and to entitle him to the honourable appella- 
tion, which prescription has made indisputably his, of 
the " Father of History," 

festivals; when standing upright on 
th&i hind-1^^ they adapted &e mo- 
tions of their fore-feet to the time of 
the music. Onaris, heing acquainted 
with this custom, procured a female 
flute-player from Cardia; and this 
flute-player, on her arrival in Bisal- 
tis (?), instructed many of the flute- 
players of that city (?), whom he 
caused to accompany him in his 
march against the Cardians. As soon 
as the engagement commenced, he 
ordered the flute-players to strike up 
those tunes to which the Cardian 
horses were used to perform. And no 
sooner had the horses heard the music, 
than they stood up on their hind-legs 
and hegnn to dance. But the chief 
force of the Cardians was in cavalry ; 
and so they lost the battle." 

Even Hellanicus, who outlived He- 
rodotus, falls sometimes into the 
cramped and bald style of the old 
logographers, as the subjoined speci- 
mens will show : — 

(1.) ** From Pelasgus, the king of 
these men, and Menipp^, the daughter 
of Peneus, was bom Phrastor; from 
him sprang Amyntor; from him, Teu- 
tamidas ; from him, Kanas. In his 
reign the Pelasgians were driven out 

by the Greeks, and having left their 
ships at the river Spines in the Ionian 
Gulf, they built at some distance from 
the shore the city of Croton. From 
hence they proceeded to colonise the 
land now called Tyrrhenia.** 

(2.) " When the men came from 
Sparta, the Athenians related to them 
the story of- Orestes. At the conclu- 
sion, when both parties approved the 
judgment, the Athenians assigned it 
to the ninth generation after Mars 
and Neptune pleaded in the cause 
of Halirrhothius. Then, six genera- 
tions later, Ce[ihalus, the son of Del- 
oncus, who married Procris, the 
daughter of Erechtheus, and slew her, 
was condemned by the court of Areo- 
pagus, and suffered banishment. After 
the trial of Daedalus for the treache- 
rous alaugliter of his sister^s son Talus, 
and his flight from justice, in the 
third generation this Clytemncstra, 
the daughter of Tyndarus, who had 
killed Agamemnon and herself been 
killed by Orestes, caused Orestes to 
be brought to trial by the Eumenides ; 
he, however, returned after judgment 
was given, and became king of Argos. 
Miner\'a and Mars were the judges.** 







These are the researches of Herodotus of Halicarnas- 
sus/ which he publishes, in the hope of thereby pre- 
serving from decay the remembrance of what men have 
done, and of preventing the great and wonderful 
actions of the Greeks and the Barbarians from losing 
their due meed of glory ; and withal to put on record 
what were their grounds of feud. 

1. According to the Persians best informed in his- 
tory, the Phoenicians began the quarrel. This people, 
who had formerly dwelt on the shores of the Erythraean 
Sea,* having migrated to the Mediterranean and settled 

* This is the reading of all our 
MSS. Yet Aristotle, where he quotes 
the passage (Rhet. iii. 9), has Thurium 
in the place of Halicarnassus ; that is, 
he cites the final residence instead of 
the birth-place of the writer. (See 
the sketch of Herodotus's Life pre- 
fixed to this volume.) There is no 
doubt that considerable portions of 
the work as it stands were written at 
Thurium, and it is possible that Hero- 
dotus used the expression " of Thu- 
rium " in his latest recension. 

The mention of the author's name 
and country in the first sentence of 
his history seems to have been usual 
in the age in which Herodotus wrote. 
The "Genealogies" of Hecatwus com- 

VOL. I. 

menced with the words, 'Eicoraior Mt- 
X^o-tof Me fivOflrai. (Miillcr's Fragm. 
Hist. Gr., vol. i. Fr. 332.) And the 
practice is followed by Thucydides. 

* By the Erythraian Sea Herodotus 
intends, not our Red Sea, which he 
calls the Arabian Gulf {koXitos 'Apa- 
^lor), but the Indian Ocean, or rather 
both the Indian Ocean and the Persian 
Gulf, which latter he docs not con- 
sider distinct from the Ocean, being 
ignorant of its shape. 

With respect to the migration of 
the Phoenicians from the Persian Gulf, 
which is reasserted b<x)k vii. ch. 89, 
there seems to be no room to doubt 
that a very close connexion existed 
between the cities of Phoenicia Proper 



Book I. 

in the parts which they now inhabit, began at once, 
they say, to adventure on long voyages, freighting 
their vessels with the wares of Egypt and Assyria.^ 
They landed at many places on the coast, and among 
the rest at Argos, which was then pre-eminent above 
all the states included now under the common name of 
Hellas.* Here they exposed their merchandise, and 
traded with the natives for five or six days ; at the end 
of which time, when almost everything was sold, there 
came down to the beach a nmnber of women, and 
among them the daughter of the king, who was, they 
say, agreeing in this with the Greeks, lo, the child of 

and a Dumber of places about the Per- 
sian Gulf, whose names appear to in- 
dicate their Phoenician origin. The 
'chief of these were Tyrus, or Tylus, 
and Aradns, two islands in the Gulf, 
where, according to Eratosthenes (ap. 
Strabon. xvi. p. 1090, Oxf. ed.), there 
were Phoenician temples, and the in- 
habitants of which claimed the Phoe- 
nician cities on the Mediterranean as 
their colonies. One of these is at the 
present day called Arad, There is 
also a Sidodona, and a Szur, or Tur, 
which recall the names of Sidon and 
Tyre respectively. The only question 
seems to be whether the cities about 
the Persian Gulf are the mother cities 
of those on the Mediterranean, or colo- 
nies from them. Seetzen and Heeren 
incline to the latter view (Heeren's 
As. Nat. vol. ii. pp. 231, 415, E. T.) 
In favour of the former, however, is, 
in the first place, the double tradition, 
that of the Phoenicians of Phoenicia 
Proper mentioned by Herodotus, and 
that of the inhabitants of Tyrus and 
Aradus, recorded by Eratosthenes, 
who probably followed Androsthenps, 
the naval officer of Alexander; and 
secondly, what may be called the argu- 
ment from general probability. Lower 
Babylonia, the country about the 
mouths of the Tigris and Euphrates, 
is the original seat of Semitic power, 
whence it spreads northward and west- 
ward to the Euxine and to the Mediter- 
ranean. (See the Critical Essays, Essay 

vi.) Asshur goes forth out of the 
land of Shinar, in the book of Genesis 
(x. 11) ; Abraham and his family pss 
from Ur of the Chaldees (Mugheir) by 
Charran into Syria; the Aramaeans 
can be traced in the Cuneifonh 
inscriptions ascending the course of 
the Euphrates from the Persian Gulf 
towards the Mediterranean. Every- 
thing indicates a spread of the Semites 
from Babylonia westward, while no- 
thing appears of any movement in 
the opposite direction. 

The name " Phopuician,** which 
connects with " Erythra?an," both 
meaning " red," the colour of the 
Semites, confirms the general con- 
nexion, but does not show in which 
way the migration proceeded. In 
further proof of the connexion, see the 
Essay appended to Book vii. " On the 
Early Migrations of the Phoenicians." 

' For an account of the trade of the 
Phoenicians, see Heeren's Asiatic Na- 
tions, vol. ii., * Phoenicians,* chap. iii. 

* The ancient superiority of Argos is 
indicated by the position of Agamem- 
non at the time of the Trojan war (com- 
pare Thucyd. i. 9-10), and by the use 
of the word Argive in Homer for Greek 
generally. No other name of a single 
people is used in the same generic way. 

The absence of any general ethnic 
title during the earlier ages is noticed 
by Thucydides (i. 3). He uses the 
same expression — 7 vvv *E\khs icaXou- 
fUwi — previously (i. 2), 

Chap. 2. 



Inachus. The women were standing by the stem of 
the ship intent upon their purchases, when the Phoeni- 
cians, with a general shout, rushed upon them. The 
greater part made their escape, but some were seized 
and carried off. lo herself was among the captives. 
The Phoenicians put the women on board their vessel, 
and set sail for Egypt. Thus did lo pass into Egypt, 
according to the Persian story,* which differs widely 
from the Phoenician : and thus commenced, according 
to their authors, the series of outrages. 

2. At a later period, certain Greeks, with whose 
name they are unacquainted, but who would probably 
be Cretans,* made a landing at Tyre, on the Phoenician 
coast, and bore off the king's daughter, Europ^. In 
this they only retaliated ; but afterwards the Greeks, 
they say, were guilty of a second violence. They 

* It is hardly possible that the Per- 
sians, properly so called, could have 
bad any independent knowledge of 
the myth of lo, for at the period of 
history to which the legend refers, the 
Arian tribes, who were the progenitors 
of the Persians, were still encamped 
on the banks of the Indus, and were 
thus entirely shut out from any con- 
tact with the Western world. The 
acquaintance even of the Assyrians 
and Babylonians with the Greeks was 
of a comparatively modem date. Sar- 
gon, indeed, who in the Cuneiform 
Inscriptions first mentions the Greeks, 
— ^having in about B.C. 709 received 
tribute in Babylon from the Grecian 
colonists of Cyprus, and having sub- 
sequently conducted an expedition to 
that island, — speaks of them as " the 
seven kings of the Yaha tribes of the 
country of Yavnan (or Yunan\ who 
dwelt in an island in the midst of 
the Western sea, at the distance of 
seven days from the coast, and the 
name of whose country had never 
been heard by my ancestors, the 
kings of Assyria and Chal(la?a, from 
the remotest times,** &c. &c. &c. It 
is at the same time i&r from imx)ro- 

bable that this name of Taha, which 
the Assyrians applied to the piratical 
Greeks of Cyprus, may have suggested 
the memory of the buccaneering sto- 
ries which the Phcenicians and the 
Persians (of Syria ?) told to Herodotus 
in illustration of the myth of lo. And 
it is further worthy of remark, that 
the name, thus first brought before us 
in its Asiatic form, may perhaps fur- 
nish an astronomical solution for the 
entire fable ; for as the wanderings of 
the Greek lo have been often com- 
l>ared with the erratic course of the 
moon in the heavens, passing in suc- 
cession through all the signs of the 
zodiac, so do we find that in the 
ante-8emitic period there was also 
an identity of name, the Egyptian 
title of the moon being Yah, and the 
primitive Chaldeean title being repre- 
sented by a Cuneiform sign, which is 
phonetically^}, as in modem Turkish. 
— rU. C. R.J 

" Since no other G reeks were thought 
to have possessed a navy in these early 
times. Compare Thucyd. i. 4 — Mivas 
iraXairaTos l>v oKofj tcfiev vavTHc6v 

M 2 



Book I. 

manned a ship of war, and sailed to -^a, a city of 
Colchis,' on the river Phasis; from whence, after de- 
spatching the rest of the business on which tliey had 
come, they carried off Medea, the daughter of the king 
of the land. The monarch sent a herald into Greece 
to demand reparation of the wrong, and the restitution 
of his child ; but the Greeks made answer, that having 
received no reparation of the wrong done them in the 
seizure of lo the Argive, they should give none in this 

3. In the next generation afterwards, according to 
the same authorities, Alexander the son of Priam, bear- 
ing these events in mind, resolved to procure himself 
a wife out of Greece by violence, fully persuaded, 
that as the Greeks had not given satisfaction for their 
outrages, so neither would he be forced to make any 
for his. Accordingly he made prize of Helen ; upon 
which the Greeks decided that, before resorting to 
other measures, they would send envoys to reclaim the 
princess and require reparation of the wrong. Their 
demands were met by a reference to the violence which 
had been offered to Medea, and they were asked with 
what face they could now require satisfaction, when 
they had formerly rejected all demands for either repa- 
ration or restitution addressed to them.® 

' The commentators have found 
some diflBculty in showing why the 
Golchians should have been held re- 
sponsible for an outrage committed 
by the Phoenicians, and have been 
obliged to suggest that it was merely 
owing to their equally belonging to 
the comity of Asiatic nations ; but 
the traditions of mutual responsibility 
are more readily explained by our 
remembering that there was a close 
ethnic relationship between the two 
nations, Colchis in the time of the 
Argonauts being peopled by the same 
Cushite or (so-called) ^Ethiopian race, 
which in the remote age of Inachus, 

and before the arrival of the Semites 
in Syria, held the seaboard of Phoe- 
nicia. ITie primitive Medes were one 
of the principal divisions of the great 
Cushite or Scythic race, and their 
connexion with Colchis and Phoenicia 
is marked by the myth of Medea in 
one quarter, and of Androm^cfa in 
the other. So too all the ancient 
Scythic monuments of Northern Media 
and Armenia are referred by Strabo 
to the Argonauts, Jason, as the hus- 
band of Medea, being the eponymous 
hero of the race. — rH. C. R.] 

' Aristophanes in the Achamians 
(488-494) very wittily parodies the 

Chap. 3-5. 



4. Hitherto the injuries on either side had been mere 
acts of common violence; but in what followed the 
Persians consider that the Greeks were greatly to 
blame, since before any attack had been made on 
Europe, they led an army into Asia. Now as for the 
carrying off of women, it is the deed, they say, of a 
rogue ; but to make a stir about such as are carried 
off, argues a man a fool. Men of sense care nothing 
for such women, since it is plain that without their 
own consent they would never be forced away. The 
Asiatics, when the Greeks ran off with their women, 
never troubled themselves about the matter ; but the 
Greeks, for the sake of a single Laceds3monian girl, 
collected a vast armament, invaded Asia, and destroyed 
the kingdom of Priam. Henceforth they ever looked 
upon the Greeks as their open enemies. For Asia, 
with all the various tribes of barbarians that inhabit 
it, is regarded by the Persians as their own; but 
Europe and the Greek race they look on as distinct and 

5. Such is the account which the Persians give of 

opening of Herodotus's liistory. Pro- 
fessing to give the causes of the Pelo- 
ponnesian war, he says ; — 

Kflu ravra fiiv Si) Vfjuxpa icairixiapia* 
vopvify Si ItfiaiBoM i6vTts Mryopoj* 
vttufiai Kkhtrcnxn fifOvtroKorrafioir 
K^tr oi Mrya^ bfvvaii irc^o-iyywfAO^t 
irrtieKket^etv 'Aonroo-tac n6pra Svo' 
KoyrtvBtv opx^ rov vx>\ituv Kartppdyti 
*EAA]}9'i vaa-iy ix Tfuwv KoiuccurrpiitV' 


** This was nothing, 

Smacking too much of oar accustomed manner 
To give offence. But here, sirs, was the nib : 
Some sparks of ours, hot with the grape, bad stol'n 
A mistress of the game— SImttha named — 
From the Mfgmrians : her doughty townsmen 
(For the deed moved no small extent of anger) 
Reveng'd the affront upon Axpasia's train, 
And bore away a brace of her fair damsels. 
All Greece anon gave note of martial prelude. 
And what the cause of war ? marry, three women." 

— MrrciiELL, p. to-a. 

This is the earliest indication of a 
knowledge of the work of Herodotus 
on the part of any other Greek 

• The claim made by the Persians 
to the natural lordship of Asia was 
convenient as furnishing them with 
pretexts for such wars as it suited their 
policy to engage in with non- Asiatic 
nations. The most remarkable occa- 
sion on which they availed themselves 
of such a plea was when Darius in- 
vaded Scythia. According to Herodo- 
tus he asserted, and the Scythians 
believed, that his invasion was de- 
signed to piinish them for having 
attacked the Medes, and held pos- 
session of Upper Asia fi)r a number of 
years, at a time when Persia was a 
tributary nation to Media. (See He- 
rod, iv. 1 and 118-9.) 



these matters*^ They trace to the attack upon Troy 
their ancient enmity towards the Greeks. The Phoeni- 
cians, however, as regards lo, vary from the Persian 
statements. They deny that they used any violence to 
remove her into Egypt; she herself, they say, having 
formed an intimacy with the captain, while his vessel 
lay at Argos, and suspecting herself to be with child, 
of her own freewill accompanied the Phoenicians on 
their leaving the shore, to escape the shame of detection 
and the reproaches of her parents. Which of these 
two accounts is true I shall not trouble tp decide. I 
shall proceed at once to point out the person who first 
within my own knowledge commenced aggressions on 
the Greeks, after which I shall go forward with my his- 
tory, describing equally the greater and the lesser cities. 
For the cities which were formerly great, have most of 
them become insignificant ; and such as are at present 
powerful, were weak in the olden time.^ I shall there-- 

' It is curioTis to observe the treat- 
ment which the Greek myths met 
with at the hands of foreigners. The 
Oriental mind, quite unable to ap> 
preciate poetry of such a character, 
stripped the legends bare of all that 
beautified them, and then treated them, 
thus vulgarised, as matters of simple 
history. lo, the virgin priestess, 
beloved by Jove, and hated by jea- 
lous Juno, metamorphosed, Argus- 
watched, and gadfly-driven from land 
to land, resting at last by holy Kile*s 
sweet-tasting stream, and there be- 
coming mother of a race of hero-kings, 
is changed to lo, the paramour of a 
Phoenician sea-captain, flying with 
him to conceal her pregnancy, and so 
carried to Egypt whither his ship was 
bound. The Phoenicians and the Per- 
sians are equally prosaic in their ver- 
sions of the story^ so that it seems the 
Semitic race was as unable to enter 
into the spirit of Greek poesy as the 
Arian. Both indeed appear to have 
been essentially unpoetical, the Se- 

mitic race only warming into poetry 
tmder the excitement of devotional 
feeling, the Arian never capable of 
anything beyond sparkling prettiness 
and exuberant, sometimes perhaps 
elegant fancy. 

Herodotus, left to himself, has no 
tendency to treat myths in this coarse 
rationalistic way : witness his legends 
of Croesus, Battus, Labda, &c. His 
spirit is too reverent, and, if we may 
so say, credulous. The supernatural 
never shcxiks or startles him. It is a 
mistake of Pausanias (n. xvi. § 1) to 
call this story of Jo's pass^e into 
Egypt " the way in which Herodotus 
says she went there." Herodotus is 
only reporting what was alleged by 
the Persians. 

The legend of To forms a beautiful 
episode in the Prometheus Vinctus of 
^schylus (572-905). 'J'hat of Medea 
is introduced into one of the most 
magnificent of the Odes of Pindar. 
(Pyth. iv. 119-458.) 

* Thucydides remarks on the small 

Chap. 6. 




fore discourse equally of both, convinced that human 
happiness never continues long in one stay. 

6. Croesus, son of Alyattes, by birth a Lydian, was 
lord of all the nations to the west of the river Halys. 
This stream, which separates Syria* from Paphlagonia, 
runs with a course from south to north,* and finally falls 
into the Eusine. So far as our knowledge goes, he 
was the first of the barbarians who held relations with 
the Greeks, forcing some of them to become his tribu- 
taries, and entering into alliance with others. He 

size to which Mycdnas had dwindled 
compared with its former power (i. 10). 
Herodotus would have remarkable ex- 
amples of decline in his own neigh- 
bourhood, both when he dwelt in Asia 
Minor, and after he removed to Italy. 
Phocaea in the former country, and 
Sybaris in the latter, near the ruins of 
which Thurium rose, would be notable 

* If the name of the Halys be 
derived from a Semitic source, we may 

compare the roots 7^n in Hebrew, or 
t\^ in Arabic, signifying "to be 

twisted,*' and suppose tlie epithet to 
refer to the tortuous course of the 
river. There are names indeed in the 
early Cuneiform inscriptions, Khnla 
and Khuliyay which must either refer 
to this river, or to the upper course of 
the Euphrates. They are probably 
also connected with XoXo^tt^i^ (Khul 
o{ BitaUy the latter term being the 
ancient Assyrian name of Armenia) 
and with the Hul of Scripture, Gen. 
X. 23 ; see Bochart's Phaleg. lib. ii. 
c. 9. The upper course of the Jligris 
is likewise named KhttU in the in- 
scriptions, which may be of kindred 
etymolo^. — [H. C. R.] 

* By Syria" Herodotus here means 
Cap])adocia, the inhabitants of which 
be calls Syrians (i. 72, and vii. 72), 
or Cappadocian Syrians (2vpiovs Kan- 
frab6Kas, i. 72). Strabo called them 
"white Syrians'Xxii. p.788,Oxf. ed.). 
For arguments in favour of their Se- 
mitic origin, seePrichard's Researches, 
vol, iv. pp. 560-1. 

Herodotus regards the words Syria 
and Assyria, Syrians and Assyrians, 
as in reality the same (vii. 63) ; in his 
use of them, however, as ethnic appel- 
latives, he always carefully distin- 
guishes. Syria is the tract bounded 
on the norik by the Euxine ; on the 
west by the Halys, Cilicia, and the 
Mediterranean ; on the east by Ar- 
menia and the desert ; and on the 
south by Egypt. Assyria is the upper 
portion of the Mesopotamian valley, 
bounded on the north by Armenia, on 
the west by the desert, on the south 
by Babylonia, and on the east by the 
Mcdes and Matieni. [The only true 
word is Assyria, from Asshur, Syria 
is a Greek corruption of the genuine 
term.—H. C. R.J 

* It has been thought (Larcher, 
vol. i. p. 173) that Herodotus placed 
tlie source of the Halys in the range 
of Taurus, near Iconium, the modem 
K6nia, and regarded the river as hav- 
ing from its source to it« embouchure 
a uniform direction from south to 
north ; but from the more elaborate 
description in ch. 72 of this book it 
appears that this was not his belief. 
He there places the source of the 
stream in the mountains of Armenia, 
and says, that after running through 
Cilicia it passes the Matieni and the 
Phrygians, and then flows with a 
north course between the countries of 
Paphlagonia andCappadocia. Thus his 
statements are reconcilable with those 
of Arrian (Peripl. Pont. Eux. p. 127), 
and with the real course of the Kizil- 




conquered the jEolians, lonians, and Dorians of Asia, 
and made a treaty with the Lacedaemonians. Up to 
that time all Greeks had been free. For the Cimmerian 
attack upon Ionia, which was earlier than Croesus, was 
not a conquest of the cities, but only an inroad for 

7. The sovereignty of Lydia, which had belonged to 
the Heraclides, passed into the family of Croesus, who 
were called the Mermnadse, in the manner which I will 
now relate. There was a certain king of Sardis, Can- 
daules by name, whom the Greeks call Myrsilus.* He 
was a descendant of Alcseus, son of Hercules. The first 
king of this dynasty was Agron, son of Ninus, grandson 
of Belus, and great-grandson of Alcaeus ; Candaules, son 
of Myrsus, was the last.'' The kings who reigned before 
Agron sprang from Lydus, son of Atys, from whom the 
people of the land, called previously Meonians/ received 

• That is, son of Myrsus, — a patro- 
nymic of a Latin, or perhaps it should 
rather be said, of an Italic, t3rpe. 
[So Larthial-isay " the wife of the 
son of Larthius." This single example, 
of which hardly any notice has been 
taken, is probably the strongest argu- 
ment we possess in favour of the 
Lydian origin of the Etruscans. — 
H. C. R.] 

' ITie best and latest authorities 
seem to be now agreed on the Semitic 
descent of the Lydian s (see Movers's 
* die Phoenicier,' i. 475 ; and Ottf. 
Miiller, *Sandon und Sardanapal,' 
p. 38, &c.), and the near synchronism 
of the commencement and duration 
of the Assyrian and Lydian Empires, 
together with the introduction by 
Herodotus of the Ass^-rian names of 
Belus and Kinus in the genealogy of 
Candaules are certainly in favour of 
his belief in the connexion ; but on the 
other hand, there is no trace in the 
Assyrian inscriptions of Semitic names 
beyond the range of Taurus, nor is it 
easy to believe, if the in tervenina: coun- 
tries of Cilicia and Cappadocia were 
peopled by Scy ths, that Alssyrian colo- 

nists could have penetrated beyond 
them so far to the westward. Again the 
remarkable Latinism preserved in the 
form ofMyrsilus for ** the son of Myr- 
sus " is a strong argument against the 
Semitic ori|j;in of the Lydians, and to 
whatever race the Heracleids belonged, 
among whom are found the Assyrian 
names, in a later age, at any rate, the 
language of the Lydians was most cer- 
tainly Indo-Germanic ; for the famous 
Xanthus has left it on record that 
Sardis in the vernacular dialect of his 
day signined "a year" (being given 
as an honorary epithet to the city 
* *irp6s Tifirju *HXiov") ; and this is pure 
Arias, Sarat or Sard being the word 
used for "a year" in Sanscrit and 
Armenian, and being retained in old 
Persian under the form of TTii'oda, 
and in modern Persian as Sal, Con- 
sult Xanthus apud Lyd. de mensibus, 
iii. 14, p. 112 ; Ed. Roether. [H.C.R.] 
■ Homer knows only of Meonians, 
not of Lydians (11. ii. 864-6). Xan- 
thus spoke of the Lydians as obtain- 
ing the name at a comparatively late 
period in their history (Fmgm. i. ed. 
Didot). !Niebulir (Roman Hist., vol. i. 

Chap. 7» 8. 



the name of Lydians. The Heraclides, descended from 
Hercules and the slave-girl of Jardanus,* having been 
entrusted by these princes with the management of 
aflfairs, obtained the kingdom by an oracle.^ Their rule 
endured for two and twenty generations of men, a space 
of five hundred and five years ;^ during the whole of 
which period, from Agron to Candaules, the crown 
descended in the direct line from father to son. 

8. Now it happened that this Candaules was in love 
with his own wife ; and not only so, but thought her 
the fairest woman in the whole world. This fancy had 
strange consequences. There was in his body-guard a 
man whom he specially favoured, Gyges, the son of Das- 
cylus. All afiairs of greatest moment were entrusted 
by Candaules to this person, and to him he was wont 
to extol the surpassing beauty of his wife. So matters 
went on for a while. At length, one day, Candaules, 
for he was fated to end ill, thus addressed his follower : 
" I see thou dost not credit what I tell thee of my lady's 
loveliness; but come now, since men's ears are less 
credulous than their eyes, contrive some means whereby 
thou mayest behold her naked." At this the other 
loudly exclaimed, saying, "What most xmwise speech is 

p. 108, E. T.) regards the Lydians as a 
distinct people from the Meonians, and 
as their conquerors. The suhject is dis- 
cussed in the Critical Essays, Essay i. 
" On the Early Chronology and His- 
tory of Lydia." 

• Jardanus was the hushand, or, ac- 
cording to some accounts, the father, 
of OmphaM. Hercules, while in her 
service, was said to have formed an 
intimacy with one of her female slaves, 
by name Mai is, who bore him a son, 
Acelus (Hellanicus, Fragm. 102, ed. 
Didot). Herodotus seems to sui)ix)se 
her to have been also the mother of 

* This would be important, if we 
could depend on it as historical. The 
Asiatics seem to have had no oracles 
of their own. They had moiles of 

divination (infra, ch. 78 ; Dino. Fr. 8 ; 
Polycharm. Frs. 1, 2), but no places 
where prophetic utterances were sup- 
posed to be given by divine insjnration. 
Under those circumstances they reco:;- 
nised the supernatural character of the 
Greek oracles, and consulted them 
(vide infra, ch^ps. 14, 19, 46, &c.). 
It would be interesting to know that 
the intercourse had begun in the 13th 
century B.C. 

■ Herodotus professes to count three 
generations to the century (ii. 142), 
thus making the generation 331 years. 
In this case the average of the genera- 
tions is but 23 years. There is no 
need, however, to alter the text, as 
Ijarcher does, for Herodotus docs not 
here calculate, but intends to state 



this, master, which thou hast uttered ? Wouldst thou 
have me behold my mistress when she is naked? 
Bethink thee that a woman, with her clothes, puts off 
her bashfulness. Our fathers, in time past, distinguished 
right and wrong plainly enough, and it is our wisdom 
to submit to be taught by them. There is an old 
saying, ' Let each look on his own.' I hold thy wife 
for the fairest of all womankind. Only, I beseech thee, 
ask me not to do wickedly." 

9. Gyges thus endeavoured to decline the king's 
proposal, trembling lest some dreadful evil should befall 
him through it. But the king replied to him, " Cou^ 
rage, friend ; suspect me not of the design to prove 
thee by this discourse; nor dread thy mistress, lest 
mischief befall thee at her hands. Be sure I will so 
manage that she shall not even know that thou hast 
looked upon her. I will place thee behind the open 
door of the chamber in which we sleep. When I enter 
to go to rest she will follow me. There stands a chair 
close to the entrance, on which she will lay her clothes 
one by one as she takes them off. Thou wilt be able 
thus at thy leism*e to peruse her person. Then, when 
she is moving from the chair toward the bed, and her 
back is turned on thee, be it thy care that she see thee 
not as thou passest through the doorway." 

10. G-yges, unable to escape, could but declare his 
readiness. Then Candaules, when night came, led 
Gyges into his sleeping-chamber, and a moment after 
the queen followed. She came in, and laid her gar- 
ments on the chair, and Gyges gazed on her. After a 
while she moved toward the bed, and her back being 
then turned, he glided stealthily from the apartment. 
As he was passing out, however, she saw him, and 
instantly divining what had happened, she neither 
screamed as her shame impelled her, nor even appeared 
to have noticed aught, purposing to take vengeance 

pon the husband who had so affronted her. For 

Chap. 9-11. 



among the Lydians, and indeed among the barbarians 
generally, it is reckoned a deep disgrace, even to a man, 
to be seen naked.^ 

11. No sound or sign of intelligence escaped her at 
the time. But in the morning, as soon as day broke, 
she hastened to choose from among her retinue, such as 
she knew to be most faithful to her, and preparing 
them for what was to ensue, summoned Gyges into her 
presence. Now it had often happened before that the 
queen had desired to confer with him, and he was 
accustomed to come to her at her call. He therefore 
obeyed the summons, not suspecting that she knew aught 
of what had occurred. Then she addressed these words 
to him : " Take thy choice, G-yges, of two courses which 
are open to thee. Slay Candaules, and thereby become 
my lord, and obtain the Lydian throne, or die this 
moment in his room. So wilt thou not again, obeying 
all behests of thy master, behold what is not lawful for 
thee. It must needs be, that either he perish by whose 
counsel this thing was done, or thou, who sawest me 
naked, and so didst break our usages." At these words 
Gyges stood awhile in mute astonishment ; recovering 
after a time, he earnestly besought the (jueen that she 
would not compel him to so hard a choice. But finding 
he implored in vain, and that necessity was indeed laid 
on him to kill or to be killed, he made choice of life for 
himself, and replied by this inquiry : " If it must be so, 
and thou compellest me against my will to put my lord 
to death, come, let me hear how thou wilt have me set 
on him." " Let him be attacked," she answered, " on 
that spot where I was by him shown naked to you, and 
let the assault be made when he is asleep." 

• The contrast between the fcclinc^s 
of the Greeks and the barbarians on 
this point is noted by Thucydides 
(i. 6), where we learn that the exhibi- 
tion of the naked person was recent, 

even with the Greeks (t6 ndkai Koi 
(V ro) *0Xv^7rta/c^ ayS>vi bia^afiara 
fXpvTfs irtpl ra albola oi aSkryral 
ffyiovi^ovTo, Ka\ ov noWa €Ttj eVctd^ 



Book L 

12. All was then prepared for the attack, and when 
night fell, Gyges, seeing that he had no retreat or 
escape, but must absolutely either slay Candaules, or 
himself be slain, followed his mistress into the sleeping- 
room. She placed a dagger in his hand, and hid him 
carefully behind the self-same door. Then Gyges, when 
the king was fallen asleep, entered privily into the 
chamber and struck him dead. Thus did the wife and 
kingdom of Candaules pass into the possession of his 
follower Gyges, of whom Archilochus the Parian, who 
lived about the same time,* made mention in a poem 
written in Iambic trimeter verse. 

13. Gyges was afterwards confirmed in the possession 
of the throne by an answer of the Delphic oracle. 
Enraged at the murder of their king, the people flew 
to arms, but after a while the partisans of Gyges came 
to terms with them, and it was agreed that if the 
Delphic oracle declared him king of the Lydians, he 
should reign ; if otherwise, he should yield the throne 
to the Heraclides. As the oracle was given in his 
favour he became king. The Pythoness, however, 
added that, in the fifth generation from Gyges, ven- 

* The age of Archilochus is a dis- 
puted point. Mr. Clinton places him 
B.C. 708-665 (F. H. vol. i. 01. 18. 23, 
2. &c.). Mr. Grote is of opinion that 
this is " a half century too high " 
(History of Greece, vol. iii. p. 333, 
note ■). There are strong grounds for 
believing that Archilochus was later 
than Callinus (Clinton, vol. i. 01. 17), 
who is proved by Mr. Grote to have 
written after the great Cimmerian in- 
vasion in the reign of Ardys. But 
there is nothing to show at what time 
in the reign of Ardys this invasion 
happened. Archilochus may have 
been contem}X)rary both with Gyges 
and Ardys. The Cimmerian invasion 
may have been early in the reign of 
the latter prince, say b.c. 675. Archi- 
lochus may have flourished B.C. 708- 
665, and yet have witnessed the great , 
invasion, and (as Strabo and Clement I 

argue) have outlived Callinus. It 
seems better to raise our date for the 
Cimmerian invasion, which (in Mr. 
Grote's words^ " appears fixed for 
some date in tne reign of Ardys,** but 
which is not fixed to any particular 
part of his long reign of 49 years, 
than t<) disregard all the authorities 
(Herodotus, Cicero, Clemens, Tatian, 
Cyril, iElian, Proclus, &c.) who place 
Archilochus in the reign of Gyges, or 
a little afterwards. 

A line of Archilochus, in which 
mention was made of Gyges, has been 
preserved — O0 fxoi rh Tvyco) rov »ro- 
Xvxpva-ov ficXci (Ar. Rhet. iii. 17, 
Plut. Mor. ii. p. 470, C). If it had 
been spoken in his own person, it 
would have settled the question of 
his date, but we learn from Aristotle 
that it was put in the mouth of one 
of his characters. 

Chap. 12-14. 



geance should come for the Heraclides ; a prophecy of 
which neither the Lydians nor their princes took any 
account till it was fulfilled. Such was the way in 
which the Mernmadae deposed the Heraclides, and 
themselves obtained the sovereignty. 

14. When Gyges was established on the throne, he 
sent no^ small presents to Delphi, as his many silver 
oflFerings at the Delphic shrine testify. Besides this 
silver he gave a vast number of vessels of gold, among 
which the most worthy of mention are the goblets, six 
in number, and weighing altogether thirty talents, 
which stand in the Corinthian treasury, dedicated by 
him. I call it the Corinthian treasury, though in 
strictness of speech it is the treasury not of the whole 
Corinthian people, but of Cypselus, son of Eetion.*' 
Excepting Midas, son of Gordias,* king of Phrygia, 
Gyges was the first of the barbarians whom we know 
to have sent offerings to Delphi. Midas dedicated the 
royal throne whereon he was accustomed to sit and 
administer justice, an object well worth looking at. It 
lies in the same place as the goblets presented by 
Gyges. The Delpliians call the whole of the silver 

*• The offerings of Cypselus to 
Delphi and other shrines are spoken of 
by several writers. (Pausan.V. ii. § 4 ; 
Plut. Sept. Sap. Agaclyt. ap. Phot, in 
KxfyUfXidau dvdBrjfui.) See note on 
book ii. ch. 167, ad fin. That the 
Corinthians in later times sought to 
substitute in the titles of the offerings 
the name of their state for that of 
their quondam king, is apparent from 
the story which Pausanias tells. 

* In the royal house of Phrygia, the 
names Midas and Gordias seem to 
have alternated perpetually, as in 
that of Cyr^n^ the names Battus and 
Arcesilatis. Every Phrygian king 
mentioned in ancient history is either 
Midas, son of Gordias, or Gordias 
son of Midas. Bouhier ( Dissertations, 
ch. viii.) reckons four kings of Phrygia 
named Midas, each the son of a Gordias. 

Three of these are mentioned in Hero- 
dotus. (See, besides the present 
passage, i. 35, and viii. 138.) 

The tomb of which a representa- 
tion is given by Texier, is the burial- 
place apparently of one of these kings. 
It is at Doyanluj near Kutaya (Coty- 
ajum), in the ancient Phrygia ; and 
has two inscriptions, which may be 
read thus ; — 

1. Artt Apicia«Fci( oiccvavoyaFof MiJoi yaFayracc 

FoyoicTd C^OCf . 

2. Bo^a Mefi«Fcu« IIpoiraFof icFt yoyaFryoc 

(See Texier's Asie Mineure, vol. i. 
p. 155 ; and compare the Essay " On 
the P]thnic Affinities of the Nations of 
Western Asia," where these and some 
other Phrygian inscriptions are con- 



Book I. 

and the gold which Gyges dedicated, after the name of 
the donor, Gygian.* 

As soon as Gyges was king he made an inroad on 
Miletus and Smyrna,' and took the city of Colophon. 
Afterwards, however, though he reigned eight and 
thirty years, he did not perform a single noble exploit. 
I shall therefore make no further mention of him, 
but pass on to his son and successor in the kingdom, 

15. Ardys took Friend ^ and made war upon Miletus. 
In his reign the Cimmerians, driven from their homes 
by the nomades of Scythia, entered Asia and captured 
Sardis, all but the citadel.* He reigned forty-nine 
years, and was succeeded by his son, Sadyattes, who 
reigned twelve years. At his death, his son Alyattes 
mounted the throne. 

16. This prince waged war with the Medes under 
Cyaxares, the grandson of Deioces,** drove the Cimme- 
rians out of Asia, conquered Smyrna, the Colophonian 
colony,^ and invaded Clazomense. From this last con- 
test he did not come off as he could have wished, but met 
with a sore defeat : still, however, in the course of his 
reign, he performed other actions very worthy of note, 
of which I will now proceed to give an account. 

« Theopompus (Fr. 219) and Pha- 
niasof Eresus (Fr. 12) said that these 
were the first gold and silver offerings 
which had been made to the shrine at 

^ To this war belongs, apparently, 
the narrative which Plutarch quotes 
from Dositheiis (Dosith. Fr. 6), who 
wrote a Lydian History. The Smyr- 
nseans seem to have been hard pressed, 
but by a stratagem, which they com- 
memorated ever aft^^rwards by the 
festival of the Eleutheria, destroyed 
the army which had been sent against 
them. According to one account, 
Gyges and his Lydians had actually 
seized the city, when the Smyma?ans 
r ose u p and expelled them. (Pausan. 
^■Mtt^ 3.) Mimnermus, the elegiac 

poet, celebrated the event in one of his 
pieces. (Ibid. ix. xxix. § 2.) 

' Mr. Grote says, " This possession 
cannot have been maintained, for the 
city appears afterwards as autono- 
mous " (History of Greece, vol. iii. p. 
301) ; but I have been unable to find 
any authority for the latter statement. 
No Ionian city, once conquered by 
any Lydian king, recovers its inde- 
pendence. The encroachments were 
progressive, and were maintained in all 

• For an account of this and the 
other inroads of the Cimmerians, see 
Essay i. 

•" Vide infra, chaps. 73-4. 

* Vide infra, ch. 150. 

Chap. 16-18. HIS WAR WITH MILETUS. 167 

17. Inheiiting from his father a war with the 
Milesians, he pressed the siege against the city by 
attacking it in the following manner. When the 
harvest was ripe on the ground he marched his army 
into Milesia to the sound of pipes and harps, and flutes 
masculine and feminine.^ The buildings that were 
scattered over the country he neither pulled down 
nor burnt, nor did he even tear away the doors, but 
left them standing as they were. He cut down, how- 
ever, and utterly destroyed all the trees and all the 
com throughout the land, and then returned to his own 
dominions. It was idle for his army to sit down before 
the place, as the Milesians were masters of the sea. 
The reason that he did not demolish their buildings 
was, that the inhabitants might be tempted to use them 
as homesteads from which to go forth to sow and till 
their lands; and so each time that he invaded the 
country he might find something to plunder. 

18. In this way he carried on the war with the 
Milesians for eleven years, in the course of which he 
inflicted on them two terrible blows ; one in their own 
country in the district of Limeneium, the other in the 
plain of the Mseander. During six of these eleven 
years, Sadyattes, the son of Ardys, who first lighted 
the flames of this war, was king of Lydia, and made 
the incursions. The five following years only belong 

• Aulus Gelliiis understood the 
" male and female flutes," as flutes 
played by men, and flutes played by 
women (Noct Attic, i. 11). But it is 
more probable that flutes of diflcrcnt 
toues or pitches are intended. (See the 
essay of Bottiger, * Ueber die Lydische 
Doppelflote,* in Wieland's Attisch. 
Mus. vol. i. part ii. p. 334.) The 
flute, the pitch of which was lower, 

Larcher conjectures (note on the pas- 
sage, vol. i. p. 192). If this were the 
case, however, the male flute would 
be the Phryo^an, the female flute the 
Lydian : for the Lydian musical scale 
was more highly pitched than the 
Phrygian. Larcher states exactly the 
reverse of the truth when he says, 
" Les flutes Lydicnes dont le son ^toit 
grave, et les Phrygienes, qui avoient 

would be called male ; the more treble j le son aigu.'* (See the article on, 
or shrill-sounding one would be the I (trcck Music in Smith's Dictionary of 

femaie. It is possible that the two 
flutes represented respectively the Ly- 
dian and Phrygian musical scales, as 

Antiquities, contributed by Professor 


to the reign of Alyattes, son of Sadyattes, who (as I 
said before) inheriting the war from his father, applied 
himself to it unremittingly. The Milesians throughout 
the contest received no help at all from any of the 
lonians, excepting those of Chios, who lent them troops 
in requital of a like service rendered them in former 
times, the Milesians having fought on the side of the 
Chians during the whole of the war between them and 
the people of Erythrae. 

19. It was in the twelfth year of the war that the 
following mischance occurred from the firing of the 
harvest-fields. Scarcely had the com been set a-light 
when a violent wind carried the flames against the 
temple of Minerva Assesia, which caught fire, and 
was burnt to the ground. At the time no one made 
any account of the circumstance ; but afterwards, on the 
return of the army to Sardis, Alyattes fell sick. His 
illness continuing, either advised thereto by some 
friend, or perchance himself conceiving the idea, he 
sent messengers to Delphi to inquire of the god con- 
cerning his malady. On their arrival the Pythoness 
declared that no answer should be given them until 
they had rebuilt the temple of Minerva, burnt by the 
Lydians at Assesus in Milesia. 

20. Thus much I know from information given me 
by the Delphians; the remainder of the story the 
Milesians add. 

The answer made by the oracle came to the ears of 
Periander, son of Cypselus, who was a very close 
friend to Thrasybulus, tyrant of Miletus at that period. 
He instantly despatched a messenger to report the 
oracle to him, that Thrasybulus forewarned of its tenor, 
might the better adapt his measures to the posture of 

21. Alyattes, the moment that the words of the 
oracle were reported to him, sent a herald to Miletus 
in hopes of concluding a truce with Thrasybulus and 

Chap. 19-^ 



the Milesians for such a time as was needed to rebuild 
the temple. The herald went upon his way ; but 
meantime Thrasybulus had been apprised of every- 
thing; and conjecturing what Alyattes would do, he 
contrived this artifice. He had all the com that was 
in the city, whether belonging to himself or to private 
persons, brought into the market-place, and issued an 
order that the Milesians should hold themselves in 
readiness, and, when he gave the signal, should, one 
and all, fall to drinking and revelry. 

22. The purpose for which he gave these orders 
was the following. He hoped that the Sardian herald, 
seeing so great store of corn upon the ground, and all 
the city given up to festivity, would inform Alyattes 
of it, which fell out as he anticipated. The herald 
observed the whole, and when he had delivered his 
message, went back to Sardis. This circumstance alone, 
as I gather, brought about the peace which ensued. 
Alyattes, who had hoped that there was now a great 
scarcity of com in Miletus, and that the people were 
worn down to the last pitch of suffering, when he 
heard from the herald on his return from Miletus, 
tidings so contrary to those he had expected, made a 
treaty with the enemy by which the two nations 
became close friends and allies. He then built at 
Assesus two temples to Minerva instead of one,^ and 
shortly after recovered from his malady. Such were 
the chief circiunstances of the war which Alyattes 
waged with Thrasybulus and the Milesians. 

23. This Periander, who apprised Thrasybulus of 

■ The feeling that restitution should 
be twofold, when made to the gods, 
was a feature of the religion of Rome 
(see Niebuhr's History, vol. ii. p. 550, 
E. T.). It was not recognised in 
Greece. Pericles proposed that, if 
necessity required, the Athenians 
should make use of Ath^nd^s golden 

VOL. I. 

ornaments, and afterwards replace 
them with ornaments of equal value 
(/i^ (Xdaa-oD, Thucyd. ii. 13). Un- 
doubtedly there are points of simi- 
larity between the Lydian and Italic 
nations, which seem to indicate that 
the myth of Tyrs^nus and Lydus has 
in it some germ of truth. 





the oracle, was son of Cypselus, and tyrant of Corinth/ 
In his time a very wonderful thing is said to have 
happened. The Corinthians and the Lesbians agree in 
their account of the matter. They relate that Arion 
of Methymna, who as a player on the harp was second 
to no man living at that time, and who was, so far as 
we know, the first to invent the dithyrambic measure,^ 
to give it its name, and to recite in it at Corinth, was 
carried to Taenarum on the back of a dolphin. 

24. He had lived for many years at the court of 
Periander, when a longing came upon him to sail 
across to Italy and Sicily. Having made rich profits 
in those parts, he wanted to recross the seas to Corinth.* 

* Bahr says ^Not. ad loc.) Periander 
was tyrant in t-he ancient sense of the 
word, in which it is simply equivalent 
to the Latin " rex " and the Greek 
am^, or /SacriXcvs ; because he inhe- 
rited the crown from his father 
Cy|>8elu3. But it would rather seem 
that the word bears here its usual 
sense of a king who rules with a 
usurped and unconstitutional autho- 
rity. There mii^ht be a dynasty of 
rvpawot as easily as an individual 
Tvpaifpos, (Compare the case of Athens 
under the lMsistratida\) So long as 
the king is not recognised as dejure, 
but only as de facto, kinir, he is 
Tvpaupos, not fiaariktvs. This was 
the case at Corinth. Vid. inf. v. 92. 

* The invention of the Dithyramb, 
or Cyclic chorus, was ascribed to 
Arion, not only by Herodotus, but 
also by Aristotle, by Hellanicus, by 
Diciearchus, and, implicitly, by Pin- 
dar (cf. Proclus ap. Phot. Cod. 231), 
p. 985, and Schol. Pindar, ad Olymp. 
xiii. 25), who said it was invented 
at Corinth. Dio (Orat. xxxvii. p. 455, 
A.) and Suidas agreed with this. 
Clement of Alexandria and others 
attributed the invention to Lasus 
of Hermione'. (Strom, i. p. 365, 
Schol. ad Aristoph. Av. 1403.) This 
is undoubtedly erroneous. It has been 
questioned, however, if the Dithyramb 
was not more ancient than Arion. A 

fragment ascribed to Archilochus is 
preserved in Athenseus (Deipnosoph. 
XIV. vi. p. 628), where the dithyramb 
is spoken of, and which has itself a 
dithyrambic character. The Scholiast 
on Pindar, 01. xiii. 25, informs us 
that Pindar varied from his statement 
in that place, and said in one poem 
that the dithyramb was invented at 
Naxos, in another at Thebes. Larcber 
thinks the dithyramb was so ancient 
a form of composition that its in- 
ventor was not known (vol. i. p. 196). 
Perhaps it is best to conclude with a 
recent writer that Arion did not in- 
vent, but only improved the dithy- 
ramb (Plehn. in Lesbiac. p. 168). 

The dithyramb was originally a 
mere hymn in honour of Bacchus, 
with the circumstances of whose birth 
the word is somewhat fancifully con- 
nected (Eurip. Bacch. 526). It was 
sung by a K&pos, or band of revellem, 
directed by a leader. It is thought 
that Arion's improvement was to adapt 
it to the system of Doric chorusses, 
thereby making it anti-strophic, and 
substituting the accompaniment of 
the harp for that of the flute. It was 
danced by a chorus of fifty men or 
boys round an altar, whence it was 
called kvkXios x^P^^ » ^^^ Arion was 
mythically said to be the son of 
Cyclon or Cycleus. 

• Another version of the story was, 

Chap. 24. LEGEND OF ARION. ' lYl 

He therefore hired a vessel, the crew of which were 
Corinthians, thinking that there was no people in 
whom he could more safely confide ; and, going on 
board, he set sail from Tarentum. The sailors, how- 
ever, when they reached the open sea, formed a plot 
to throw him overboard and seize upon his riches. 
Discovering their design, he fell on his knees, beseech- 
ing them to spare his life, and making them welcome 
to his money. But they refused; and required him 
either to kill himself outright, if he wished for a grave 
on the dry land, or without loss of time, to leap over- 
board into the sea. In this strait Arion begged them, 
since such was their pleasure, to allow him to mount 
upon the quarter-deck, dressed in his full costume, and 
there to play and sing, promising that, as soon as his 
song was ended, he would destroy himself. Delighted 
at the prospect of hearing the very best harper in the 
world, they consented, and withdrew from the stfirn 
to the middle of the vessel : while Arion dressed 
himself in the full costume of his calling, took his 
harp, and standing on the quarter-deck, chanted the 
Orthian.^ His strain ended, he flung himself, fully 
attired as he was, headlong into the sea. The Co- 
rinthians then sailed on to Corinth. As for Arion, a 
dolphin, they say, took him upon his back and carried 
him to Taenarum, where he went ashore, and thence 
walked to Corinth in his musician's dress, and told all 
that had happened to him. Periander, however, dis- 
believed the story, and put Arion in ward, to prevent 
his leaving Corinth, while he watched anxiously for 
the return of the mariners. On their arrival he sum- 
moned them before him and asked them if they could 

that he grew rich at Corinth, and 
wished to return to Methymna (Lu- 
dan, vol. ii. p. 109). 

^ The Orthian is mentioned as a 
particular sort of melody hy Plutarch 
(Pe Masi^ Yol. ii. 1134, D.), Dio 

Clirysostom (De Regno, p. 1, B.), 
and the Scboliast on Aristophanes 
(Acharn. 16). According to the last 
authority, it was pitched in a high 
key, as the name would imply, and 
was a lively spirited air. 

N 2 



Book I. 

give him any tidings of Arion. They returned for 
answer that he was alive and in good health in Italy, 
and that they had left him at Tarentum, where he was 
doing well. Thereupon Arion appeared before them, 
Just as he was when he jumped from the vessel : the 
men, astonished and detected in falsehood, could no 
longer deny their guilt. Such is the account which 
the Corinthians and Lesbians give ; and there is to 
this day at Tsenarum, an oflFering of Arion's at the 
shrine, which is a small figure in bronze, representing 
a man seated upon a dolphin.® 

25. Having brought the war with the Milesians to 
a close, and reigned over the land of Lydia for fifty- 
seven years, Alyattes died. He was the second prince 
of his house who made offerings at Delphi. His gifts^ 
which he sent on recovering from his sickness, were 
a great bowl of pure silver, with a salver in steel 
curiously inlaid, a work among all the offerings at 
Delphi the best worth looking at. Glaucus, the Chian, 
made it, the man who first invented the art of inlaying 
steel. • 

■ Various attempts have been made 
to rationalize the legend of Arion. 
Larcher conjectures that he swam 
ashore, and afterwards got on board 
a swift-sailing vessel, which happened 
to have a dolphin for its figure-head, 
and arrived at Corinth before the ship 
from which he had been ejected came 
into port (H^rodote, vol. i. p. 201). 
Clinton supposes that the whole story 
may have grown out of the fact, that 
Arion was taken by pirates, and made 
bis escape from them (F. H. vol. i. 
p. 217). 

The truth seems to be, that the 
legend grew out of the figure at 
Taenarum, which was known by its 
inscription to be an offering of Arion's 
(See Creuzer*8 Dissert, de mythis ab 
artium opcribus profectis, § 2). It 
may have had no other groimdwork. 

The figure itself remaiued at Tffiua- 
rum more than seven hundred years. 
It was seen by ^lian in the tJiird 

century after Christ, when it bore the 
following inscription : — 

'ABavarmv iro^iroTo'iK 'Apibva, KvxAorof vtbri 
'Ex SurcAov wtAdyovf nnrty o^iiMa r66c. 

» It is questionable whether by 
KokXria-is is to be understood the in- 
laying, or merely the welding of iron 
together. The only two descriptions 
which eye-witnesses have left us of 
the salver, lead in opposite directions. 
Pausanias gives as its peculiarity that 
the various portions were not fastened 
together by nails or rivets, but united 
by welding (X. xvi. § 1) ; Athenajus, 
that it was covered with representa- 
tions of plants and animals (Deipno* 
soph. v. :3, p. 210). Larcher's rea- 
soning in favour of inlaying is inge- 
nious. The main difficulties are the 
etymological meaning of the word, 
and the description of Pausanias. 

Stephen of Byzantium calls Glaucus 
a Samian (in voc. Ai^aXi;) against the 
concurrent testimony of all other an* 

Chap. 25-27. 



26. On the death of Alyattes, Croesus, his son, who 
was in his thirty-fifth year, succeeded to the throne. 
Of the Greek cities, Ephesus was the first that he 
attacked. The Ephesians, when he laid siege to the 
place, made an offering of their city to Diana, by 
stretching a rope from the town wall to the temple of 
the goddess,^ which was distant from the ancient city, 
then besieged by Croesus, a space of seven furlongs.' 
They were, as I said, the first Greeks whom he attacked.^ 
Afterwards, on some pretext or other, he made war in 
turn upon every Ionian and jEolian state, bringing 
forward, where he could, a substantial groimd of com- 
plaint; where such failed him, advancing some poor 

27. In this way he made himself master of all the 
Greek cities in Asia, and forced them to become his 
tributaries ; after which he began to think of building 
ships, and attacking the islanders. Everything had 
been got ready for this purpose, when Bias of PriSne 
(or, as some say, Pittacus the Mytilenean) put a stop 
to the project. The king had made inquiry of this 
person, who was lately arrived at Sardis, if there were 
any news from Greece ; to which he answered, " Yes, 
sire, the islanders are gathering ten thousand horse, 

cient writers. He was led into the 
mistake probably by his knowledge 
of the general priority of Samos in 
matters of art. (Vide infr. i. 51 ; iii. 
42 and 60 ; iv. 88, &c.) 

' An analogous case is mentioned 
by Plutarch (Solon, c. 12). The fu- 
gitives implicated in the insurrection 
of Cylon at Athens connected them- 
selves with the altar by a cord. 
Through the breaking of the cord they 
lost their sacred character. So, too, 
when Poly crates dedicated the island 
of Rheneia to the Delian Apollo, he 
connected it with Delos by a chain 
(lliucyd. iii. 104). 

• We learn by this that the site of 
Ephesus had changed between the 

time of Crcesus and that of Herodotus. 
It is curious that, notwithstanding, 
Xeuophon speaks of the temple of 
Diana (Artemis) as still distant exactly 
seven stades from the city (Ephes. i. 
2). Afterwards the temple drew the 
population to it. The building seen by 
Herodotus was that burnt by Erato- 
stratus, B.C. 356. 

■ The story of Pindarus, which 
Mr. Grote interweaves into his history 
at this point (vol. iii. p. 347), is far 
too questionable in its details, and 
rests upon too little authority (iElian. 
Hist. Var. iii. 26 ; Polysen. Strateg. 
vi. 50) to be entitled to much consi- 



designing an expedition against thee and against thy 
capital." Croesus, thinking he spake seriously, broke 
out, " Ah, might the gods put such a thought into their 
minds as to attack the sons of the Lydians with 
cavalry!" "It seems, oh! king," rejoined the other, 
** that thou desirest earnestly to catch the islanders on 
horseback upon the mainland, — thou knowest well what 
would come of it. But what thinkest thou the islanders 
desire better, now that they hear thou art about to 
build ships and sail against them, than to catch the 
Lydians at sea, and there revenge on them the wrongs 
of their brothers upon the mainland, whom thou 
boldest in slavery?" Croesus was charmed with the 
turn of the speech ; and thinking there was reason in 
what was said, gave up his ship-building and con- 
cluded a league of amity with the lonians of the isles. 

28, Croesus afterwards, in the course of many years, 
brought under his sway almost all the nations to the 
west of the Halys. The Lycians and Cilicians alone 
continued free ; all the other tribes he reduced and 
held in subjection. They were the following : the 
Lydians, Phrygians, Mysians, Mariandynians, Chaly- 
bians, Paphlagonians, Thynian and Bithynian Thracians, 
Carians, lonians, Dorians, jEolians and Pamphylians.* 

29. When all these conquests had been added 
to the Lydian empire, and the prosperity of Sardis 
was now at its height, there came thither, one after 

* For the position of these several 
tribes see the map of Asia Minor. It 
is not quite correct to speak of the 
Cilicians as dwelling within (i.e. west 
of) the Halys, for the Halys in its 
tipper course ran through Cilicia (dta 
KiXiJtttir, ch. 72), and that country lay 
chiefly south of the river. 

Lycia and Cilicia would be likely 
to maintain their independence, being 
both countries of great natural strength. 
They lie upon the high mountain-range 
of Taurus, which runs from east to 

west along the south of Asia Minor, 
within about a degree of the shore, 
and sends do\\ni from the main chain 
a series of lateral branches or spurs, 
which extend to the sea along the 
whole line of coast from the Gulf of 
Makri, opposite Rhodes, to the plain 
of Tarsus. The mountains of the in- 
terior are in many parts covered with 
snow during the whole or the greater 
part of the year. (See Beaufort's 

Chap. 28-30. 



another, all the sages of Greece living at the time, 
and among them Solon, the Athenian/ He was 
on his travels, having left Athens to be absent ten 
years, under the pretence of wishing to see the world, 
but really to avoid being forced to repeal any of the 
laws which, at the request of the Athenians, he had 
made for them. Without his sanction the Athenians 
could not repeal them, as they had bound themselves 
imder a heavy curse to be governed for ten years 
by the laws which should be imposed on them by 

30. On this account, as well as to see the world, 
Solon set out upon his travels, in the course of which 
he went to Egypt to the court of Amasis,* and also 
came on a visit to Croesus at Sardis. Croesus received 
him as his guest, and lodged him in the royal 
palace. On the third or fourth day after, he bade 
his servants conduct Solon over his treasuries,® and 

* Solon's visit to Cra?siis was re- 
jected as fabulous before the time of 
Plutarch (Solon, c. 27), on account 
of chronological difficulties, wliich it 
has been proix)sed to obviate by the 
hypothesis of the association of Croesus 
in the government by his father, some 
considerable time before his death. 
(See Larcher in loc. ; and Clinton, 
F. H. vol. ii. p. 365.) The irai)ro- 
bability of this hypothesis is shown 
in theCrit. Essays (Essay i. sub fin.). 
There is no necessity for it, in order 
to bring Solon and Croesus into con- 
tact during the reipi of the latter. 
Croesus most probably reigned from 
B.C. 568 to B.C. 554. Solon certainly 
outlived the first usurpation of the 
government at Athens by PisLstratus, 
which was B.C. 560. Some writers 
8[)oke of his travels as commencing at 
that time. (Laert. i. 50 ; Suidas in 
Toc. 2dXa>v.) It is possible that he 
travelled twice, once before and once 
after thecommencement of the tyranny 
of Pisistratus. And what happened 
on the latter occasion may have been 
transferred to the former. Or he may 

have started on his first travels a few 
years later than Clinton conjectures, 
B.C. 571, instead of B.C. 575 ; and his 
visit to Croesus may have been in the 
last of the 10 years B.C. 561. 

" The travels of Solon are attested 
by Plato (Tim. p. 21) and others. 
Various motives were assigned for his 
leaving Athens. Laertius and Suidas 
said it was to escape the tyranny of 
Pisistratus; Plutarch, that it was to 
avoid the troubles into which he fore- 
saw Athens would be plunged (Solon, 
c. 25). The view of Herodotus has 
prevailed, notwithstanding its intrinsic 

7 Amasis bei^an to reign B.C. 569. 
Solon might sail from Athens to Egypt, 
thence to Cyprus (Herod, v. 113), and 
from Cypnis to Lydia. This is the 
order of his travels according to 
Laertius (i. 49). Herodotus, too, 
seems to place the visit to Egypt before 
that to Lydia, when he says, tKdrjfAricras 
6 SoXgjj/ € f AtyvTTTOv dniKerOf Kai 
drf Ka\ €S 2dpbLS. 

■ Vide infra, vi. 125, 


show him all their greatness and magnificence. When 
he had seen them all, and, so far as time allowed, 
inspected them, Croesus addressed this question to him, 
** Stranger of Athens, we have heard much of thy 
wisdom and of thy travels through many lands, from 
love of knowledge and a wish to see the world. I am 
curious therefore to inquire of thee, whom, of all the 
men that thou hast seen, thou deemest the most happy?" 
This he asked because he thought himself the happiest 
of mortals : but Solon answered him without flattery, 
according to his true sentiments, " Tellus of Athens, 
sire." Full of astonishment at what he heard, Croesus 
demanded sharply, "And wherefore dost thou deem 
Tellus happiest ? " To which the other replied, " First, 
because his country was flourishing in his days, and 
he himself had sons both beautiful and good, and 
he lived to see children born to each of them, and 
these children all grew up ; and further because, after 
a life spent in what our people look upon as comfort, 
his end was surpassingly glorious. In a battle between 
the Athenians and their neighbours near Eleusis, he 
came to the assistance of his countrymen, routed the 
foe, and died upon the field most gallantly. The 
Athenians gave him a public funeral on the spot where 
he fell, and paid him the highest honours." 

31. Thus did Solon admonish Croesus by the example 
of Tellus, enumerating the manifold particulars of his 
happiness. When he had ended, Croesus inquired a 
second time, who after Tellus seemed to him the 
happiest, expecting that, at any rate, he would be 
given the second place. " Cleobis and Bito," Solon 
answered ; " they were of Argive race : their fortune 
was enough for their wants, and they were besides 
endowed with so much bodily strength that they had 
both gained prizes at the Games. Also this tale is 
told of them : — There was a great festival in honour 
of the goddess Juno at Argos, to which their mother 

Chap. 81, 82. 



must needs be taken in a car.' Now the oxen did not 
come home from the field in time : so the youths, 
fearful of being too late, put the yoke on their own 
necks, and themselves drew the car in which their 
mother rode. Five and forty furlongs did they draw 
her, and stopped before the temple. This deed of 
theirs was witnessed by the whole assembly of wor- 
shippers, and then their life closed in the best possible 
way. Herein, too, God showed forth most evidently, 
how much better a thing for man death is than life. 
For the Argive men stood thick around the car and 
extolled the vast strength of the youths; and the 
Argive women extolled the mother who was blessed 
with such a pair of sons ; and the mother herself, 
overjoyed at the deed and at the praises it had 
won, standing straight before the image, besought 
the goddess to bestow on Cleobis and Bito, the sons 
who had so mightily honoured her, the highest bless- 
ing to which mortals can attain. Her prayer ended, 
they oflFered sacrifice, and partook of the holy ban- 
quet, after which the two youths fell asleep in the 
temple. They never woke more, but so passed from 
the earth. The Argives, looking on them as among 
the best of men, caused statues of them to be made, 
which they gave to the shrine at Delphi." 

32. When Solon had thus assigned these youths the 
second place, Croesus broke in angrily, " What, stranger 
of Athens, is my happiness, then, so utterly set at* 
nought by tliee, that thou dost not even put me on 
a level with private men ? " 

" Oh ! Croesus," replied the other, " thou askedst a 

• Cicero (Tusc. Disp. i. 47) and 
others, as Servius (ad Virg. Geog. iii. 
532) and the author of the Platonic 
dialogue entitled Axiochus (367. C), 
relate that the ground of the necessity 
was the circumstance that the youths' 
mother was priestess of Juno at the 
time. Servius says a pestilence had 

destroyed the oxen, which contradicts 
Herodotus. Otherwise the tale is told 
with fewer varieties than most ancient 
stories. The Argives had a sculptured 
representation of the event in their 
temple of Apollo Lycius to the time of 
Pausanias. (Pausau. ii. xx. § 2.) 



Book I. 

question concerning the condition of man, of one who 
knows that the power above us is full of jealousy ,** and 
fond of troubling our lot. A long life gives one to 
witness much, and experience much oneself, that one 
would not choose. Seventy years I regard as the 
limit of the life of man/ In these seventy years are 
contained, without reckoning intercalary months, twenty- 
five thousand and two hundred days. Add an inter- 
calary month to every other year, that the seasons 
may come round at the right time, and there will be, 
besides the seventy years, thirty-five such months, 
making an addition of one thousand and fifty days. 
The whole number of the days contained in the seventy 
years will thus be twenty-six thousand two hundred 
and fifty ,^ whereof not one but will produce events 

•• In the original, <^6ovtphv€hv rh 
Btlov, The <f>66vos of God is a lead- 
ing feature in Herodotus's conception 
of the Deity, and no doubt is one of 
the chief moral conclusions which he 
drew from his own survey of human 
events, and intended to impress on us 
by his history. (Vide infra, iii. 40, 
vii. 46, and especially vii. 10, } 5-6.) 
Plutarch long ago reprehended this 
view (De Herod. Malignit. Op. ii. p. 
857) ; and notwithstanding the inge- 
nious defence of Valckenaer (ad Herod, 
iii. 40), repeated since by Dahlmann 
(Life of Herodotus, ch. viii. p. 131, 
E. T.) and Bfihr (ad Herod, i. 32), 
it cannot be justified. Herodotus's 
• <l>6ov(p6s 6t6s is not simply the '* Dem 
uUor of religious Romans, much less 
the ** jealous God " of Scripture, to 
which Dahlmann compares the ex- 
pression. This last is a completely 
distinct notion. The idea of an 
avenging God is included in the Hero- 
dotean conception, but is far from 
being the whole of it. Prosperity, 
not pride, eminence, not arrogance, 
provokes him. He does not like any 
one to be great or happy but himself 
(vii. 46, end). 

What is most remarkable is, that 
with such a conoeptlpn of the Divine , 
^n^Hil^^erodotus could maintain 

such a placid, cheerful, childlike tem- 
per. Possibly he was serene because 
he felt secure in his mediocrity. 

* " The days of our years are three- 
score years and ten " (Ps. xc. 10). 

• 2^0 commentator on Herodotus 
has succeeded in explaining the curious 
mistake whereby the solar year is 
made to average 375 days. That 
Herodotus knew the true solar year 
was not 375, but more nearly 3G5 
days, is clear from book ii. ch. 4. 
It is also clear that he must be right 
as to the fact that the Greeks were in 
the habit of intercalating a month 
every other year. This point is con- 
firmed by a passage in Censorinus (De 
Die Natal, xviii. p. 91), where it is 
explained that the Greek years were 
alternately of 12 and 13 months, and 
that the biennium was called '* annus 
magnus," or TpKrrjpig. 

Two inaccuracies produce the error 
in Herodotus. In the first place he 
makes Solon count his months at 30 
days each, whereas it is notorious that 
the Greek months, after the systeni 
of intercalation was introduced, were 
alternately of 29 and 30 days. By 
this error his first number is raised 
from 24,780 to 25,200 ; and also his 
second number from 1033 to 1050. 
Secondly, he omits to mention that 

Chap. 32. 



tmlike ihe rest. Hence man is wholly accident. For 
thyself, oh! Croesus, I see that thou art wonderfully 
rich, and art the lord of many nationB ; but with 
respect to that whereon thou questionest me, I have no 
answer to give, until I hear that thou hast closed thy 
life happily. For assuredly he who possesses great 
store of riches is no nearer happiness than he who has 
what suflRces for his daily needs, unless it. so hap that 
luck attend upon him, and so he continue in the 
enjoyment of all his good things to the end of life. 
For many of the wealthiest men have been unfavoured 
of fortune, and many whose means were moderate have 
had excellent luck. Men of the former class excel those 
of the latter but in two respects ; these last excel the for- 
mer in many. The wealthy man is better able to content 
his desires, and to bear up against a sudden buffet of 
calamity. The other has less ability to withstand these 
evils (from which, however, his good luck keeps him 
clear), but he enjoys all these following blessings : he 
is whole of limb, a stranger to disease, free from mis- 
fortune, happy in his children, and comely to look 
upon. If, in addition to all this, he end his life well, 
he is of a truth the man of whom thou art in search, 
the man who may rightly be termed happy. Call him, 
however, until he die, not happy but fortunate. Scarcely, 
indeed, can any man unite all these advantages : as 
there is no country which contains within it all that it 
needs, but each, while it possesses some things, lacks 
others, and the best country is that which contains the 
most ; so no single human being is complete in every 
respect — something is always lacking. He who unites 
the greatest number of advantages, and retaining them 

from time to time (every 4th rpienjpls 
probably) the intercalary month was 
omitted altogether. (See Dr. Schmitz*s 
account of the Greek year, in Smith's 
Dictionary of Antiquities, 2nd edit. 
p. 222 ; where, however, by an acci- 

dental slip of the pen, the insertum of 
an additional month every fourth year 
(TpKTTjpis ?) is substituted for its 
omission.) These two corrections 
would reduce the number of days to 
the proper amount. 



Book I. 

to the day of liis death, then dies peaceably, that man 
alone, sire, is, in my judgment, entitled to bear the 
name of * happy.' But in every matter it behoves* us 
to mark well the end ; for oftentimes God gives men a 
gleam of happiness, and then plunges them into ruin/' * 

33. Such was the speech which Solon addressed to 
Croesus, a speech which brought him neither largess 
nor honour, . The king saw him depart with much in- 
difference, since he thought that a man must be an 
a^rrant fool who made no account of present good, but 
bade men always wait and mark the end. 

34. After Solon had gone away a dreadful ven- 
geance, sent of God, came upon Croesus, to punish him, 
it is likely, for deeming himself the happiest of men. 
First he had a dream in the night, which foreshowed 
him truly the evils that were about to befal him in the 
person of his son. For Croesus had two sons, one 
blasted by a natural defect, being deaf and dumb ; the 
other, distinguished far above all his co-mates in every 
pursuit. The name of the last was Atys. It was 
this son concerning whom he dreamt a dream, that he 
would die by the blow of an iron weapon. When he 
woke, he considered earnestly with himself, and, greatly 
alarmed at the dream, instantly made his son take a 
wife, and whereas in former years the youth had been 
wont to command the Lydian forces in the field, he 
now would not suffer him to accompany them. All 

■ Larcher says, " Sophocles a para- 
phrase cette sentence de Solon dans 
son (Edipe Roi " (vol. i. p. 232). But 
it might be argued with quite as much 
probability that Herodotus has here 
iwrrowed from Sophocles, since Hero- 
dotus seems to have continued to make 
additions to his history as late perhaps 
as B.C. 425 (see the introductory Essay, 
p. 33), and Sophocles exhibited as 
early as B.C. 468. As the exact date 
of the publication of the Gildipus 
Tyrannus is unknown, and it is un- 

certain whether the passage in Hero- 
dotus was part of the original history, 
or one of the additions which he made 
at Thurium, it is impossible to say 
which writer was the plagiarist. Per- 
haps theyvm fir} was really one of Solon's, 
as Aristotle believed (Eth. Nic. i. x.). 
It became a favourite rorros of Greek 
tragedy. See, besides the passages in 
Sophocles ((Ed. T. 1195, and 1528-30), 
Eurip. Andromach. 100, Troas, 513, 
&c. &c. 

Chap. 83-35. 



the spears and javelins, and weapons used in the wars^ 
he removed out of the male apartments, and laid them 
in heaps in the chambers of the women, fearing lest 
perhaps one of the weapons that hung against the wall 
might fall and strike him. 

36. Now it chanced that while he was making 
arrangements for the wedding, there came to Sardis a 
man under a misfortime, who had upon him the stain 
of blood. He was by race a Phrygian, and belonged 
to the family of the king. Presenting himself at the 
palace of Croesus, he prayed to be admitted to purifica- 
tion according to the customs of the country. Now the 
Lydian method of purifying is very nearly the same 
as the Greek. Croesus granted the request, and went 
through all the customary rites, after which he asked 
the suppliant of his birth and country, addressing him as 
follows : — " Who art thou, stranger, and from what-part 
of Phrygia fleddest thou to take refuge at my hearth ? 
And whom, moreover, what man or what woman, hast 
thou slain ? " " Oh ! king," replied the Phrygian, " I 
am the son of Gordias, son of Midas. I am named 
Adrastus/ The man I unintentionally slew was my 
own brother. For this my father drove me from the 
land, and I lost all. Then fled I here to thee." '' Thou 
art the offspring," Croesus rejoined, " of a house friendly 
to mine,^ and thou art come to friends. Thou shaft 

* This name, and likewise the name 
of Atys, are thought to be significant. 
Adrastus is " the doomed " — " the 
man unable to escape." Atys is " the 
youth under the influence of At^ " 
— " the man judicially blind.** (See 
Mure*s Literature of Greece, vol. iv. 
p. 326.) 

Hephflsstion gave the name of the 
brother as Agathon, and said that he 
and Adrastus quarrelled about a quail 
(ap. Pilot. Bibl. cod. 190, p. 472) ; but 
the discoveries of Hepha^stion in such 
matters are a severe trial to the modem 
reader^s credulity. ^ 

* Here the legend has forgotten 
that Phrygian independence was at 
an end. We might, indeed, get over 
the difliculty of a Phrygian royal 
house, and a King Gordias at this time, 
by supposing, with Larcher (vol. i. 
p. 237), that Phrygia had become 
tributary while retaining her kings ; 
but the language of Cra?sus is not suit- 
able to such a supposition. Equality 
appears in the phrase, " thou art the 
offspring of a house friendly to mine, 
and thou art come to friends ;*' and 
the independence of Phrygia seems 
clearly implied in the proviso, " thou 



Book I« 

want for nothing so long as thou abidest in my domi- 
nions. Bear thy misfortune as easily as thou mayest, 
BO will it go best with, thee." Thenceforth Adrastus 
lived in the palace of the king. 

36. It chanced that at this very same time there was 
in the Mysian Olympus a huge monster of a boar, 
which went forth often from this mountain-country, 
and wasted the corn-fields of the Mysians. Many a 
time had the Mysians collected to hunt the beast, but 
instead of doing him any hurt, they came off always 
with some loss to themselves. At length they sent 
ambassadors to Croesus, who delivered their message to 
him in these words : " Oh ! king, a mighty monster of 
a boar has appeared in our parts, and destroys the 
labour of our hands. We do our best to take him, but 
in vain. Now therefore we beseech thee to let thy 
son accompany us back, with some chosen youths and 
hounds, that we may rid our country of the animal." 
Such was the tenor of their prayer. 

But Croesus bethought him of his dream, and an- 
swered, " Say no more of my son going with you ; 
that may not be in any wise. He is but just joined in 
wedlock, and is busy enough with that. I will grant 
you a picked band of Lydians, and all my hunting 
array, and I will charge those whom I send to use 
all zeal in aiding you to rid your country of the 

37. With this reply the Mysians were content; but 
the king's son, hearihg what the prayer of the Mysians 
was, came suddenly in, and on the refusal of Croesus 
to let him go with them, thus addressed his father : 
" Formerly, my father, it was deemed the noblest and 
most suitable thing for me to frequent the wars and 
hunting-parties, and win myself glory in them ; but now 

shall want for nothing so long as thou 
abidest in my dominions " (jUv^nr €¥ 

rifjLtrepov), Phiygia is not under 

Pha?. 86-40. STORY OP ADRASTUS. 183 

thou keepest me away from both, although thou hast 
never beheld in me either cowardice or lack of spirits 
What face meanwhile must I wear as I walk to the 
forum or return from it? What must the citizens, 
what must my young bride think of me ? What sort 
of man will she suppose her husband to be ? Either, 
therefore, let me go to the chace of this boar, or give 
me a reason why it is best for me to do according to 
thy wishes." 

38. Then Croesus answered, " My son, it is not 
because I have seen in thee either cowardice or aught 
else which has displeased me that I keep thee back ; 
but because a vision, which came before me in a dream 
as I slept, warned me that thou wert doomed to die 
young, pierced by an iron weapon. It was this which 
first led me to hasten on thy wedding, and now it 
hinders me from sending thee upon this enterprise. 
Fain would I keep watch over thee, if by any means I 
may cheat fate of thee during my own lifetime. For 
thou art the one and only son that I possess ; the other, 
whose hearing is destroyed, I regard as if he were not." 

39. "Ah! father," returned the youth, "I blame 
thee not for keeping watch over me after a dream so 
terrible ; but if thou mistakest, if thou dost not appre- 
hend the dream aright, 'tis no blame for me to show 
thee wherein thou errest. Now the dream, thou 
saidst thyself, foretold that I should die stricken by an 
iron weapon. But what hands has a boar to strike 
with ? What iron weapon does he wield ? Yet this is 
what thou fearest for me. Had the dream said that I 
should die pierced by a tusk, then thou hadst done 
well to keep me away ; but it said a weapon. Now 
here we do not combat men, but a wild animal. I 
pray thee, therefore, let me go with them." 

40. "There thou hast me, my son," said Croesus, 
" thy interpretation is better than mine. I yield to it, 
and change my mind, and consent to let thee go." 


184 DEATH OF ATY8. Book L 

41. Then the king sent for Adrastus the Phrygian, 
and said to him, " Adrastus, when thou wert smitten 
with the rod of affliction— no reproach, my friend — I 
purified thee, and have taken thee to live with me in 
my palace, and have been at every charge. Now, 
therefore, it behoves thee to requite the good offices 
which thou hast received at my hands by consenting to 
go with my eon on this hunting-party, and to watch 
over him, if perchance you should be attacked upon the 
road by some band of daring robbers. Even apart from 
this, it were right for thee to go where thou mayest 
make thyself famous by noble deeds. They are the 
heritage of thy family, and thou too art so stalwart and 

42. Adrastus answered, ** Except for thy request^ 
Oh ! king, I would rather have kept away from this hunt, 
for methinks it ill beseems a man under a misfortune 
such as mine to consort with his happier compeers, and 
besides, I have no heart to it. On many grounds I 
had stayed behind, but, as thou urgest it, and I am 
bound to pleasure thee (for truly it does behove me to 
requite thy good offices), I am content to do as thou 
wishest. For thy son, whom thou givest into my 
charge, be sure thou shalt receive him back safe and 
sound, so far as depends upon a guardian's carefulness." 

43. Thus assured, Croesus let them depart, accom- 
panied by a band of picked youths, and well provided 
with dogs of chace. When they reached Olympus, 
they scattered in quest of the animal ; he was soon 
found, and the hunters, drawing round him in a circle, 
hurled their weapons at him. Then the stranger, the 
man who had been purified of blood, whose name was 
Adrastus, he also hurled his spear at the boar, but 
missed his aim, and struck Atys. Thus was the son of 
Croesus slain by the point of an iron weapon, and the 
warning of the vision was fulfilled. Then one ran to 

dis to bear the tidings to the king, and he came and 

Cbaf. 41-43. GRIEF OF CIMESUS. 185 

informed him of the combat, and of the fate that had 
befallen his son. 

44. If it was a heavy blow to the father to leam that 
his child was dead, it yet more strongly affected him to 
think that the very man whom he himself once purified 
had done the deed. In the violence of his grief he 
called aloud on Jupiter Catharsius,* to be a witness of 
what he had suffered at the stranger s hands. After- 
wards he invoked the same god as Jupiter Ephistius 
and Hetaereus — using the one term because he had 
unwittingly harboured in his house the man who had 
now slain his son ; and the other, because the stranger, 
who had been sent as his child's guardian, had turned 
out his most cruel enemy. 

45. Presently the Lydians arrived, bearing the body 
of the youth, and behind them followed the homicide. 
He took his stand in front of the corse, and, stretching 
forth his hands to Croesus, delivered himself into his 
power with earnest entreaties that he would sacrifice 
him upon the body of his son — " his former misfortune 
was burthen enough ; now that he had added to it a 
second, and had brought ruin on the man who purified 
him, he could not bear to live." Then Crcesus, when 
he heard these words, was moved with pity towards 
Adrastus, notwithstanding the bitterness of his own 
calamity ; and so he answered, " Enough, my friend ; 
I have all the revenge that I require, since thou givest 
sentence of death against thyself. But in sooth it is not 
thou who hast injured me, except so far as thou hast 
unwittingly dealt the blow. Some god is the author of 

* Jupiter was Catharsius, the god | contracted an obligation towards his 
of purifications, not (as Bahr says) | purifier. Compare, on the general 
on account of the resemblance of the , principle, Eustath. ad Horn. Od. xvi. 
rites of purification with those of i 429, " ^lareov di ori fidfyrvs Xcyerat 
Jupiter MciXixiOff, but simply in the ! toIs Ufraig 6 Zfvj Ka6h koI toU irai- 
same way that he was Ephistius and poir, iva i>s d fld<as koi iiririfitjTtap^ 
Hetaer^iis, god of hearths, and of com- 7roii;ri*c«f cittc »v, xxttcoov rois &uap~ 

paiiionship, because he presided over 
all occasions of obligation between 
man and man, and the purified person 

VOL. I. 

rdvovai yiyvoiro." — Schj also Note A 
at the end of this Book. 


my misfortune, and I was forewarned of it a long time 
ago." Croesus after this buried the body of his son, 
with such honours as befitted the occasion. Adrastus, 
son of Gordias, son of Midas, the destroyer of his 
brother in time past, the destroyer now of his purifier, 
regarding himself as the most unfortunate wretch whom 
he had ever known, so soon as all was quiet about the 
place, slew himself upon the tomb. Croesus, bereft of 
his son, gave himself up to mourning for two full years. 
46. At 'the end of this time the grief of Croesus was 
interrupted by intelligence from abroad. He learnt 
that Cyrus, the son of Cambyses, had destroyed the 
empire of Astyages, the son of Cyaxares ; and that the 
Persians were becoming daily more powerful. This 
led him to consider with himself whether it were pos- 
sible to check the growing power of that people before 
it came to a head. With this design he resolved to 
make instant trial of the several oracles in Greece, and 
of the one in Libya.' So he sent his messengers in 
different directions, some to Delphi, some to Abae in 
Phocis, and some to Dod8na ; others to the oracle of 
Amphiaraiis ; others to that of Trophonius ; others, 
again, to Branchidse in Milesia.® These were the Greek 
oracles which he consulted. To Libya he sent another 

^ " The one in Libya " (Africa 
tbat of Ammon, because Egypt was 
regarded by Herodotus as in Asia, 
not in Africa. (See below, ii. 17. 65. 
iv. 39. 197.) In Egypt there were 
numerous oracles (ii. 83). 

■ The oracle at Abffi seems to have 
ranked next to that at Delphi. Com- 
pare Sophocl. (Ed. Tyr. 897-899. 
OvK €Ti rhv aOiKTOv tlfit vaj cV ofi^a- 
\6v (Ttfiv>v, ovd* €S t6v Afialai vaovy 
where the Scholiast has absurdly, 
"Aficuy rowos Aviuag. It is agam men- 
tioned by Herodotus, viii. 134. With 
respect to the oracle of Dodona, ** the 
most ancient of all in Greece," vide 
62. The oracular shrine of 
(itts was at Lebadeia, in Boeotia 

(infra, viii. 134). That of Amphiaraiis 
is generally thought to have been at 
Thebes. (Grote*s History of Greece, 
vol. iv. p. 253. Eahr's Index, vol. iv. 
p. 450.) It appears, however, to have 
been really at, or rather near, Ordpus 
(Pans. I. xxxiv. § 2 ; Li v. xlv. 27. 
Dicfearch. Fr. 59. § 6). The passage 
of Herodotus which has been supposed 
to fix it to Thebes (viii. 134), leaves 
the locality uncertain. It only appears 
that Mys visited the shrine while he 
was staying at Thebes, which he 
might easily do, as Oropus was but 
about 20 miles from that city. 

The Orientals do not appear to 
have possessed any indigenous oracles. 

Chap. 46-i8. SENDS TO TEST THE OBACLES. 187 

embassy, to consult the oracle of Aininon, These 
messengers were sent to test the knowledge of the 
oracles, that, if they were foimd really to return true 
answer;, he might ind a second time, and inquire if he 
ought to attack the Persians. 

47, The messengers who were despatched to make 
trial of the oracles were given the following instruc- 
tions : they were to keep coimt of the days from the 
time of their leaving Sardis, and, reckoning from that 
date, on the hundredth day they were to consult the 
oracles, and to inquire of them what Croesus the son of 
Alyattes, king of Lydia, was doing at that moment. 
The answers given them were to be taken down in 
writing, and brought back to him. None of the replies 
remain on record except that of the oracle at Delphi. 
There, the moment that the Lydians entered the sanc- 
tuary,* and before they put their questions,^ the Py* 
thoness thus answered them in hexameter verse : — 

'* I can count the sands, and I can measure the ocean ; 
I have ears for the silent, and know what the dumb man meaneth ; 
Lo ! on my sense there striketh the smell of a shell-covered tortoise, 
Boiling now on a fire, with the flesh of a lamb, in a cauldron, — 
Brass is the vessel below, and brass the cover above it," 

48. These words the Lydians wrote down at the 
mouth of the Pythoness as she prophesied, and then 
set off on their return to Sardis. When all the mes- 
sengers had come back with the answers which they 
had received, Croesus undid the rolls, and read what 
was written in each. Only one approved itself to him, 

• €S t6 fi€yapov. Larcher and i cher. All render hrtipwrtov, **had 
Beloe translate — " the temple of Del- i asked," instead of ** were in the act of 
phi " — " le temple de Delphes " — in- . asking," or " were for asking." He- 
correctly. The fieyapov was the inner rodotus changes from the aorist, tla^ 
shrine, the sacred chamber where the • rjkBoVf to the imperfect eirtipw-tov, to 
oracles were given — the " penetrale | mark a change in the action. Had he 

templi" as Schweigha^user renders 
the word (cf. infra, ii. 141, 143, 169, 

' Here Schweigha^user has missed 
the sense equally with Beloe and Lar- 

meant that they ^^had asked" this 
question, he would have said cVetpcb- 
TTjorav, FoT a similar use of the im- 
perfect, vide infra, i, 68, 

o 2 



Book I. 

that of the Delphic oracle. This he had no sooner 
heard than he instantly made an act of adoration, and 
accepted it as true, declaring that the Delphic was the 
only really oracular shrine, the only one that had dis- 
covered in what way he was in fact employed. For on 
the departure of his messengers he had set himself to 
think what was most impossible for any one to conceive 
of his doing,* and then, waiting till the day agreed on 
came, he acted as he had determined. He took a tortoise 
and a lamb,* and cutting them in pieces with his own 
hands, boiled them both together in a brazen cauldron^ 
covered over with a lid which was also of brass. 

49. Such then was the answer returned to Croesus 
from Delphi. What the answer was which the Lydians 
who went to the shrine of Amphiaraiis and performed 
the customary rites, obtained of the oracle there, I 
have it not in my power to mention, for there is no 
record of it. All that is known is, that Croesus believed 
himself to have found there also an oracle which 
spoke the truth. 

■ Whatever explanation is to be 
given of this remarkable oracle, that 
of liarcher seems to be precluded, not 
less by these words than by probabi- 
lity. He supposes that Croesus had 
determined what he wouli do before 
he sent his embassies, and had con- 
iQded his intention to one of the am- 
bassadors, who imparted the secret to 
the Delphian priests. If we allow 
Croesus to have possessed ordinary 
common sense, it is inconceivable 
that he should have been guilty of a 
folly which was so likely to frustrate 
his whole design. The utter incre- 
dulity of Cicero seems better than 
this — "Cur autem hoc credam un- 
quam cditum Crceso? aut Herodo- 
tum cur veraciorem ducam Ennio ? " 
(De Div. ii. tom. vi. p. 655, Emesti.) 

It is impossible to discuss such a 
question as the nature of the ancient 
oracles, which has had volumes writ- 
ten upon it, within the limits of a 
note. I will only observe that in 

forming our judgment on the subject, 
two points should be kept steadily in 
view ; 1. the fact that the Pythoness 
{ircublcricrj rcr ()(ovcra irv€Vfia UvBcih- 
vos)y whom St. Paul met with on his 
first entrance into European Greece, 
was recUly possessed by an evil spirit, 
which St. Paul cast out, thereby de- 
priving her masters of all their hopes 
of gain (Acts xvi. 16-19) : and 2. the 
phenomena of Mesmerism. In one or 
other of these, or in both of them 
combined, will be found the simplest, 
and probably the truest explanation, 
of all that is really marvellous in the 
resjxjnses of the oracles. 

* Mr. Birch thinks that Crcesus chose 
these two because they were the sacred 
animals of Apollo and of Ammon ; 
the two chief oracles of the day being 
those of Delphi and Ammon ; thinking 
to test the power of those gods by kill- 
ing their favourite emblems, and by 
the oddity of the selection.— {G. W.] 

Chap. 49, 50. 



50. After this Croesus, having resolved to propitiate 
the Delphic god with a magnificent sacrifice, ofiered 
up three thousand of every kind of sacrificial beast,* and 
besides made a huge pile, and placed upon it couches 
coated with silver and with gold, and golden goblets, 
and robes and vests of purple ; all which he burnt in 
the hope of thereby making himself more secure of the 
favour of the god. Further he issued his orders to all 
the people of the land to offer a sacrifice according to 
their means. When the sacrifice was ended, the king 
melted down a vast quantity of gold, and ran it into 
ingots, making them six palms long, three palms broad, 
and one palm in thickness. The number of ingots 
was a hundred and seventeen, four being of refined 
gold, in weight two talents and a half;* the others of 
pale gold, and in weight two talents. He also caused a 
statue of a lion to be made in refined gold, the weight of 
which was ten talents. At the time when the temple 
of Delphi was burnt to the ground,* this lion fell from 

* This is undoubtedly the meaning 
of KTTivfa ra Ovcrifia irdvra rpiaxiKia. 
Cf. infra, iv. 88. MavdpoxXca ih<opr)' 
aaro iraai htKa, ix. 70. navoravti; ttov- 
ra h€Ka i^atpiQt). Although Larcher 
had rightly rendered the passage, 
"trois mille victimes de toutes les 
especes d'animaux quMl est pormis 
d'ofFrir aux Dieux," Beloe missed the 
sense, and translated " three thou- 
sand chosen victims." The chapter 
is, indeed, one of Beloe*s worst. He 
renders ox ht ix r^r Bvalrji c'ycvrro, 

nXiruta c( airrov ((rjXavvf, ** as at the 
conclusion of the above ceremony a 
considerable quantity of gold had run 
togeifiery he formed of it a number of 
tiles;'* and tnt fi€v ra fiaKp^rtpa 
fCoUtov t^aTrdktuara, cVc dc ra fipa- 
wrtpOj TpivaXaiaTa — ** the larger of 
these toere six palms long, the smaller 

• The reading rpirov rifitrdKavrop 
suggested by MattnisR, and adopted 
by Schweigharruser, Gaisford, and 
Bahr, seems to be required instead of 

the rpia fjfiiraXaPTa of the MSS., not 
only because Herodotus must have 
known pure gold to be heavier than 
alloyed, but also because he is not in 
the habit of reckoning by half talents. 
He would not be more likely to say 
of a thing, **it weighed three half- 
talents," than a modem to say, "it 
weighed three half-pounds." With 
respect to the weight of these ingots, 
it has been calculated (Eahr in Toe.) 
from their size, that those of i>ure gold 
weighed 325 lbs. (French), and there- 
fore those of pale or alloyed gold 
260 lbs. To this result it is objected 
that it produces a talent not else- 
where heard of, viz. one of 130 lbs, 
(French ). Herodotus, however, would 
be a better judge of the size of the 
ingots than of their weight. He pro- 
bably measured them with his own 
hand, but he must have taken the 
word of the Delphians as to what 
they weighed. The Delphians are 
not unlikely to have understated 
their value. 

• Vide infra, ii. 180, v. 62. It 



Book I. 

its place upon the ingots; it now stands in the Co- 
rinthian treasury, and weighs only six talents and a 
half, having lost three talents and a half by the fire. 

51. On the completion of these works CroDsus sent 
them away to Delphi, and with them two bowls of an 
enormous size, one of gold, the other of silver, which used 
to stand, the latter upon the right, the former upon the 
left, as one entered the temple. They too were moved 
after the fire ; and now the golden one is in the Clazo- 
menian treasury, and weighs eight talents and forty-two 
mined ; the silver one stands in the corner of the ante- 
chapel, and holds six hundred amphorae.** This is 
known, because the Delphians fill it at the time of the 
Theophania.' It is said by the Delphians to be^ work 
of Theodore the Samian,® and I think that they say 
true, for assuredly it is the work of no common artist. 
Croesus sent also four silver casks, which are in the 
Corinthian treasury, and two lustral vases, a golden 
and a silver one. On the former is inscribed the name 
of the Lacedaemonians, and they claim it as a gift of 
theirs, but wrongly, since it was really given by Croesus. 
The inscription upon it was cut by a Delphian, who 
wished to pleasure the Lacedaemonians. His name is 
known to me, but I forbear to mention it. The boy, 
through whose hand the water runs, is (I confess) a 
Lacedaemonian gift, but they did not give either of the 
lustral vases. Besides these various offerings, Croesus 

was burnt accidentally — avrofmrms 

•• Above 5000 gallons (of. iv. 81). 
' There is no need of the correction 
of Valckenaer (Gcofcwoio-t for Qwo^ 
(JHiviotai), since both in Julius Pollux 
(I. i. 34) and in Philostratus (Vit. 
Apoll. TVan. iv. 31) there is mention 
of the Theophania, as a festival cele- 
brated by the Greeks. No particulars 
wn of it. 

infra, iii. 42. Pausanias 
to Theodore of Somos the in- 

vention of casting in bronze, and 
spoke of him also as an architect (lu. 
xii. § 8 ; VIII. xiv. § 5). Pliny agreed 
with both statements (Nat. Hist. 
XXXV. 12), and described also certain 
minute works of his making. It has 
been suggested that there were two 
Theodores, both Samians; the first, 
the architect and inventor of casting 
in bronze, who flourished before B.C. 
660: the second, the maker of this 
bowl, and also of the ring of Poly- 
crates (cf. Bahr ad loc.). 


sent to Delphi many others of less account, among the 
rest a number of round silver basins. Also he dedicated 
a female figure in gold, three cubits high, which is said 
by the Delphians to be the statue of his baking-woman ; 
and further, he presented the necklace and the girdles 
of his wife. 

52. These were the offerings sent by Croesus to 
Delphi. To the shrine of Amphiaraiis, with whose 
valour and misfortune he was acquainted,* he sent a 
shield entirely of gold, and a spear, also of solid gold, 
both head and shaft. They were still existing in my day 
at Thebes, laid up in the temple of Ismenian Apollo. 

53. The messengers who had the charge of convey- 
ing these treasures to the shrines, received instructions 
to ask the oracles whether Croesus should go to war 
with the Persians, and if so, whether he should 
strengthen himself by the forces of an ally. Accord- 
ingly, when they had reached their destinations and 
presented the gifts, they proceeded to consult the 
oracles in the following terms : — " Croesus, king of 
Lydia and other countries, believing that these are the 
only real oracles in all the world, has sent you such pre- 
sents as your discoveries deserved, and now inquires of 
you whether he shall go to war with the Persians, and 
if so, whether he shall strengthen himself by the forces 
of a confederate." Both the oracles agreed in the 
tenor of their reply, which was in each case a pro- 
phecy that if Croesus attacked the Persians, he would 
destroy a mighty empire, and a recommendation to him 

• For the story of Amphiaraiis, cf. 
PausaD. i. 34, ii. 13, § 6. iEschyl. 
Sept. contr. Th. 564 et seqq. The 
" misfortune " is his being engulfed 
near Or6pus, or (as some said) at 
Harroa in Bcootia. 

The fact that the gifts sent to 
Amphiaraiis were seen by Herodotus 
at ITiebeSf does not militate a<rainst 
the position maintained in a former 
note, that the oracular shrine of 

Amphiaraiis was not at Thebes but 
at Oropus. The Thebans, ere they 
lost Oropus to Attica, might have 
carried away the most valuable of its 
treasures to their own city. Indeed 
this passage may rather be adduced as 
proof that the shrine of Amphiaraiis 
was not at Thebes. For, had it been, 
why should the shield and spear have 
been in the temple of Ismenian 
Apollo, and not at the shrine itself? 



Book I. 

to look and see who were the most powerful of the 
Greeks, and to make alliance with them. 

54. At the receipt of these oracular replies Croesus 
was overjoyed, and feeling sure now that he would 
destroy the empire of the Persians, he sent once more 
to Pytho, and presented to the Delphians, the number 
of whom he had ascertained, two gold staters apiece .•• 
In return for this the Delphians granted to Croesus and 
the Lydians the privilege of precedency in consulting 
the oracle, exemption from all charges, the most honour- 
able seat at the festivals, and the perpetual right of 
becoming at pleasure citizens of their town. 

55. After sending these presents to the Delphians, 
Croesus a third time consulted the oracle, for having 
once proved its truthfulness, he wished to make con- 
stant use of it. The question whereto he now desired 
an answer was — " Whether his kingdom would be 
of long duration?" The following was the reply of 
the Pythoness : — 

" Wait till the time shall come when a mule is monarch of Media; 
Then, thou delicate Lydian, away to the pebbles of Hermus ; ' 
Haste, oh ! haste thee away, nor blush to behave like a coward." 

56. Of all the answers that had reached him, this 
pleased him far the best, for it seemed incredible that 
a mule should ever come to be king of the Medes, and 
so he concluded that the sovereignty would never de- 
part from himself or his seed after him. Afterwards 
he turned his thoughts to the alliance which he had 
been recommended to contract, and sought to ascertain 
by inquiry which was the most powerful of the Grecian 
states. His inquiries pointed out to him two states as 

•• For the value of the stater see 
note on Book vii. ch. 28. 

* The Hermus is the modem Kodus 
or Ghiediz Cliai, which rises in the 
Morad mountains and runs into the 
sea near Smyrna. Sardis was till re- 
cently a village known as Sart ; but 

M. Texier declares that there is now 
no place of the name (Asie Mineure, 
vol. iii. p. 17). It was situated in the 
valley of the Hermus, at the point 
where the Pactolus, a brook descend- 
ing from Tmolus, joined the great 



pre-eminent above the rest. These were the Lacedae- 
monians and the Athenians, the former of Doric the 
latter of Ionic blood. And indeed these two nations 
had held from very early times the most distinguished 
place in Greece, the one being a Pelasgic the other a 
Hellenic people, and the one having never quitted its 
original seats, while the other had been excessively 
migratory ; for during the reign of Deucalion, Phthi6tis 
was the country in which the Hellenes dwelt, but 
under Dorus, the son of Hellen, they moved to the 
tract at the base of Ossa and Olympus, which is called 
Histiae6tis ; forced to retire from that region by the Cad- 
meians,* they settled, under the name of Macedni, in the 
chain of Pindus. Hence they once more removed and 
came to Dryopis ; and from Dryopis having entered the 
Peloponnese' in this way, they became known as Dorians. 
57. What the language of the Pelasgi was I cannot 
say with any certainty. If, however, we may form a 
conjecture from the tongue spoken by the Pelasgi of the 
present day, — those, for instance, who live at Creston 
above the Tyrrhenians,* who formerly dwelt in the dis- 

• The Cadmcians were the Gr<Tco- 
PhcBnician race (their name merely 
signifying " the Easterns "), who in 
the ante-Trojan times, occupied the 
country which was afterwards called 
Boeotia. Hence the Greek tragedians, 
in plays of which ancient Thebes is the 
scene ( JEsch. Sept. c. Theb. Sophocl. 
(Ed. R. and Antig. Eurip. Phoeniss.), 
invariably speak of the Thebans as 
Kodfictoi, Kadfi€ios Xroor. The Bcro- 
tians of Arn^ in Thessaly expelled the 
Gadmeians from the region historically 
known as Bceotia, some time (60 years) 
after the Trojan war (Thucyd. i. 12). 
The Gadmeians fled in various direc- 
tions. They are found at Athens 
(infr. V. 57), at Sparta (inf. iv. 147), 
and in Asia Minor (inf. i. 14G). iSome 
may have fled to Uistiic6tis, the 
north-western portion of Thessaly, a 
mountain tract watered by the head- 
strcaqas of the Peneus. Such regions 
were not so much coveted by the 

powerful invaders as the more fertile 

• After many vain attempts to 
force an entrance by way of the isth- 
mus, they crossed the strait at Rhium, 
in conjunction with the iEtolians 
(Paus. V. iii. 5, and Apollodorus, ii. 
viii. § 3). 

* Niebuhr (Hist, of Rome, i. p. 34, 
note 80) would read Kp&ra>va for 
KpTforava here, and understand Cro- 
ton or Gortona in Etruria. It is 
certain that Dionysius so read and 
understood (cf. Dionys. Ant. Rom. i. 
20, p. 69, Reiske). And the best 
MSS., Niebuhr observes, are defective 
in this portion of Herodotus, so that 
the fact that there is no variety of 
reading in the copies is of the less im- 
portance. Dalilmann (Life of Herod, 
ch. iv. p. 43, E. T.) and Bahr (in 
loc.) oppose this view, and maintain 
the reading Kpi/oroiva. There cer- 
tainly were Grestonians, and they 



Book I. 

trict named Thessaliotis, and were neighbours of the 
people now called the Dorians, — or those again who 
founded Placia and Scylac6 upon the Hellespont, who 
had previously dwelt for some time with the Athe- 
nians,* — or those, in short, of any other of the cities 
which have dropped the name but are in fact Pelas- 
gian ; if, I say, we are to form a conjecture from any 
of these, we must pronounce that the Pelasgi spoke a 
barbarous language.^ If this were really so, and the 
entire Pelasgic race spoke the same tongue, the Athe- 
nians, who were certainly Pelasgi, must have changed 
their language at the same time that they passed into 
the Hellenic body ; for it is a certain * fact that the 
people of Creston speak a language unlike any of their 
neighbours, and the same is true of the Placianians, 
while the language spoken by these two people is the 
same; which shows that they both retain the idiom 
which they brought with them into the countries where 
they are now settled. 

58. The Hellenic race has never, since its first origin, 
changed its speech. This at least seems evident to me. 
It was a branch of the Pelasgic, which separated from 
the main body,' and at first was scanty in numbers and 

dwelling in the vicinity of Tyrrhe- 
nians too, in the tract sometimes 
called Mygdonia (vide Thiicyd. iv. 
109). But these Tyrrhenians were 
themselves Pelasgi, as Thucydides de- 
clares in the passage, and so should 
have spoken the same language with 
the Crestonians. Niebuhr denies that 
there was any city of Creston in these 
parts, but in this he contradicts 
{Stephen (ad voc. Kp^<rra>v). 

An insuperable objection to Nie- 
buhr's theory is the assertion of He- 
rodotus that the Pelasgic people of 
whom he is speaking " formerly dwelt 
in the district named Thessalidtis, and 
were neighbours of the Dorians." He 
oonld not possibly intend to speak so 
positively of the x)articular part of 
Greece in which the Pelasgic popula- 
of Etruria lived before they occu- 

pied Italy, an event probably anterior 
to the names Thessaliotis and Doriaiis. 

* Vide infra, vi. 137. Thucyd. iv. 
109. Pausanias, i. 28. On the migra- 
tions of the Pelasgi, their language, 
and ethnic character, see the Essay 
appended to bcK)k vi. 

• ** The Pelasgians were a different 
nation from the Hellenes : their lan- 
guage was peculiar, and not Greek ; 
this assertion, however, must not be 
stretched to imply a difference like 
that between the Greek and the llly- 
rian or I'liracian. Nations whose lan- 
guages were more nearly akin than the 
Latin and Greek, would still speak so 
as not to be mutually understood; and 
this is what Herodotus has in his eye.** 
(Niebuhr's Rom. Hist. vol. i. p. 27.) 

' aTToorxKrBfv air6 Tov Htkatryi" 
Kov, lliis 18 the term which Hero- 


of little power ; but it gradually spread and increased to 
a multitude of nations, chiefly by the voluntary entrance 
into its ranks of numerous tribes. of barbarians.' The 
Pelasgiy on the other hand, were, as I think, a bar- 
barian race which never greatly multiplied. 

59. On inquiring into the condition of these two 
nations^ Croesus found that one, the Athenian, was in 
a state of grievous oppression and distraction under 
Pisistratus, the son of Hippocrates, who was at that 
time tyrant of Athens. Hippocrates, when he was a 
private citizen, is said to have gone once upon a time 
to Olympia to see the games, when a wonderful pro- 
digy happened to him. As he was employed in sacri- 
ficing, the cauldrons wliich stood near, full of water 
and of the flesh of the victims, began to boil without 
the help of fire, and continued till the water overflowed 
the pot. Chilon the Lacedaemonian, who happened to 
be there and to witness the prodigy, advised Hippo- 
crates, if he were unmarried, never to take into his 
house a wife who could bear him a child ; if he already 
had one, to send her back to her friends ; if he had 
a son, to disown him. Chilon's advice did not at all 
please Hippocrates, who disregarded it, and some time 
after became the father of Pisistratus. This Pisis- 
tratus, at a time when there was civil contention in 
Attica between the party of the Sea-coast headed by 
Megacles the son of Alcma^on, and that of the Plain 

dotus uses when he wishes to express 
the divergence of a branch stream from 
the main current of a river. Vide 
infra, iv. 56. "'Efidofios 5c Tippos no- 
T<ifi6s dnfO'xtcrTai fi€v anh rov Bo- 
pv<r0€V€oSf It. T.X. When the river 
divides into two or more equal chan- 

Larcher, nor the " discretum k Pelas- 
gico gencre '* of Schweighajuser suffi- 
cient ly express this meaning. 

■ Thucydides explains further, that 
the various tribes of Pelasgi became 
Hellenized by the voluntary 'placing 
of themselves under Hellenic guidance. 

Dels, the verb used is the simple axt- from a conviction of the benefit that 

(taBat. See ii. 17. (rxlC^rai rpttpa- would thereby accrue to them (Thu- 

<rtaff 65ows [6 NfiXor]. iv, 39. crxl(€Tai i cyd. i. 3. iwayofitvav avroifs cjr' 

ri OT^fUiTa rov^Iorpov. The assertion I a<f)€kia ii rhs aXXas rrdXcir, xaff (Kacr- 

of Herodotus therefore is, that the tqvs fjhr) rfi 6/icXta p.€LK\ov icaXctcr^ai 

Hellenes branched from the Pelasgi. "EXX^vay). 

Neither the " s^par^ des P^asges" of 1 



headed by Lycurgus, one of the Aristolaids, formed the 
project of making himself tyrant, and with this view 
created a third party .* Grathering together a band of 
partisans, and giving himself out for the protector of 
the Highlanders, he contrived the following stratagem. 
He wounded himself and his mules, and then drove his 
chariot into the market-place, professing to have just 
escaped an attack of his enemies, who had attempted 
his life as he was on his way into the country. He 
besought the people to assign him a guard to protect 
his person, reminding them of the glory which he had 
gained when he led the attack upon the Megarians, and 
took the town of Nisaja,^ at the same time performing 
many other exploits. The Athenians, deceived by his 
story, appointed him a band of citizens to serve as a 
guard, who were to carry clubs instead of spears, and to 
accompany him wherever he went. Thus strengthened, 
Pisistratus broke into revolt and seized the citadel. In 
this way he acquired the sovereignty of Athens, which 
he continued to hold without disturbing the previously 
existing offices or altering any of the laws. He adminis- 
tered the state according to the established usages, and 
his arrangements were wise and salutary. 

60. However, after a little time, the partisans of 
Megacles and those of Lycurgus agreed to forget their 

• There can be no doubt that tbese 
local factions roust also have been 
political parties. Indeed one of them, 
that of the Highlanders (vTrtpaKpioi), 
is identified by Herodotus himself 
with the demus or Democratical party. 
The two others are connected by Plu- 
tarch (Solon, c. 13\ and on grounds 
of probability, with the Oligarchical 
and the Moderate party. (See the 
Essays appended to Book V. Essay ii.) 

* Plutarch mentions a war between 
Athens and Megara, under the con- 
duct of Solon, in which Pisistratus 
was said to have distinguished him- 
self (Solon, c. 8), as having occurred 
before Solon's legislation, i. e. before 

B.C. 594. Mr. Qrote justly observes 
that distinction gained five and thirty 
years before would have availed Pisis- 
tratus but little in the party conflicts 
of this period. The objection that he 
could not, when so young, be said 
with any propriety to have captured 
Nisaea is not so well founded, for a 
young officer may lead a storming 
party, or even command at the siege 
of a town not the chief object of the 
war, and in either case would be said 
to have captured the place. The chief 
scene of this war was Salamis. (See 
Mr. Grote's History, vol. iii. p. 205, 


differences, and united to drive him out. So Pisistratus, 
having by the means described first made himself 
master of Athens, lost his power again before it had 
time to take root. No sooner, however, was he departed 
than the factions which had driven him out quarrelled 
anew, and at last Megacles, wearied with the struggle, 
sent a herald to Pisistratus, with an offer to re-establish 
him on the throne if he would marry his daughter. 
Pisistratus consented, and on these terms an agreement 
waa concluded between the two, after which they pro- 
ceeded to devise the mode of his restoration. And here 
the device on which they hit was the silliest to be found 
in all history, more especially considering that the 
Greeks have been from very ancient times distinguished 
from the barbarians by superior sagacity and freedom 
from foolish simpleness, and remembering that the 
persons on whom this trick was played were not only 
Greeks but Athenians, who have the credit of sur- 
passing all other Greeks in cleverness. There was in 
the Paeanian district a woman named Phya,* whose 
height only fell short of four cubits by three fingers' 
breadth, and who was altogether comely to look upon. 
This woman they clothed in complete armour, and, 
instructing her as to the carriage which she was to 
maintain in order to beseem her part, they placed her 
in a chariot and drove to the city. Heralds had been 

■ It is related that this Phya was 
the (laughter of a certain Socrates, and 
made a livelihood hy selling chaplcts, 
yet that 8he was afterwards married 
by Pisistratus to his son Hipparchus, 
which seems very improbable. (See 
Clitodem. Fr. 24.) 

Mr. Grote has some just remarks 
upon the observations with which He- 
rodotus accompanies the story of Phya. 
It seems clear that the Greeks of the 
age of Pisistratus fully believed in the 
occasional presence u]K)n earth of the 
Gods. Mr. Grote refers to the well- 
known appearance of the God Pan to 

Phidippides a little before the battle 
of Marathon, which Herodotus him- 
self states to have been received as 
true by the Athenians (vi. 105). He 
might have compared also the story 
of the gigantic phantom -warrior at 
Marathon who smote £piz61us with 
blindness as he passed by him to 
strike the man at his side (Herod, vi. 
117), and that of the appearance of 
the two su]x?rhuman hoplites in the 
battle with the Persians at Delphi, 
whom the Delphians recognised for 
their local heroes, Phylacus and An-, 
tonoiis (viii. 38-9). 




sent forward to precede her, and to make proclamation 
to this effect : " Citizens of Athens, receive again 
Pisistratus with friendly minds. Minerva, who of all 
men honours him the most, herself conducts him back 
to her own citadel." This they proclaimed in all direc- 
tions, and immediately the rumour spread throughout 
the country districts that Minerva was bringing back 
her favourite. They of the city also, fully persuaded 
that the woman was the veritable goddess, prostrated 
themselves before her, and received Pisistratus back. 

61. Pisistratus, having thus recovered the sove- 
reignty, married, according to agreement, the daughter 
of Megacles. As, however, he had already a family of 
grown up sons, and the AlcmaeonidaB were supposed to 
be under a curse,^ he determined that there should be 
no issue of the marriage. His wife at first kept this 
matter to herself, but after a time, either her mother 
questioned her, or it may be that she told it of her own 
accord. At any rate, she informed her mother, and so 
it reached her father's ears. Megacles, indignant at 
receiving an affront from such a quarter, in his anger 
instantly made up his differences with the opposite 
faction, on which Pisistratus, aware of what was plan- 
ning against him, took himself out of the coimtry. 
Arrived at Eretria, he held a council with his children 
to decide what was to be done. The opinion of Hippias 
prevailed, and it was agreed to aim at regaining the 
sovereignty. The first step was to obtain advances of 
money from such states as were under obligations to 
them. By these means they collected large sums from 
several countries, especially from the Thebans, who 
gave them far more than any of the rest. To be brief, 

• Vide infra, v. 70-1 ; Tliucyd. i. 
126 ; Plut. Solon, c. 12. The curse 
rested on them upon account of their 
treatment of the partisans of Cylon. 
The arcboQ of the time, Megacles, not 
only broke faith with them after he 

had, by a pledge to spare their lives, 
induced them to leave the sacred pre- 
cinct of Minerva in the Acropolis, but 
also slew a number at the altur of the 



time passed, and all was at lenscth scot ready for their 
retuiTA band of Argive mefcenaries arrived from 
the Peloponnese, and a certain Naxian named Lygda- 
mis, who volunteered his services, was particularly 
zealous in the cause, supplying both men and money. 

62. In the eleventh year of their exile the family of 
Pisistratus set sail from Eretria on their return home. 
They made the coast of Attica, near Marathon, where 
they encamped, and were joined by their partisans from 
the capital and by numbers from the country districts, 
who loved tyranny better than freedom. At Athens, 
while Pisistratus was obtaining funds, and even after 
he landed at Marathon, no one paid any attention to 
his proceedings.' When, however, it became known 
that he had left Marathon, and was marching upon the 
city, preparations were made for resistance, the whole 
force of the state was levied, and led against the re- 
turning exiles. Meantime the army of Pisistratus, 
which had broken up from Marathon, meeting their 
adversaries near the temple of the Pallenian Minerva,* 
pitched their camp opposite them. Here a certain 
soothsayer, Amphilytus by name, an Acarnanian,* 
moved by a divine impulse, came into the presence of 

* Palldn^ was a village of Attica, 
near Gargettus, which is the mcxlcrn 
Gariio (Leake, Demi of Attica, p. 
45). It was famous for its temple of 
Minerva, which was of such magnifi- 
cence as to be made the subject of a 
special treatise by Themison, whose 
book, entitled PallenU, is mentioned 
by AthensBus (vi. 6, p. 235). The 
exact site of the ancient village seems 
to be a place about 1^ miles south-west 
of OaritOy where there are extensive 
remains (Leake, ibid.). 

• Valckenaer proposed to read 6 
^Axapveue (Ionic form of 'A^apvcvr), 
the Acharnian, for 6 *A«capi/ai/, the 
Acornanian. Larcher argued in fa- 
vour of this reading, while Gronovius 
considered that 6 ^AxapKhv might have 

the meaning of " the Achamian." So 
too Schweighneuser, who renders 
**Acarnan, sive potius Achamensis" 
The vicinity of Achama; to Pall^n^ is 
a circumstance of some weight on this 
side of the question. And it is cer- 
tain that Plato calls Amphilytus a 
compatriot (Theag. p. 124), and that 
Clement calls him an Athenian (Strom. 
I. i. p. 398). But on the other hand 
Acarnania was famous for sooth- 
sayers, especially at this period. It is 
only necessary to mention Megistias, 
the Acamanian soothsayer, at Ther- 
mopyla;, and Hippomachus, the Leu- 
cadian (Lcucas was on the coast of 
Acarnania) at Plataea. (Vide infra, 
vii. 221, and ix. 38.) 



Book I. 

Pisistratus, and approaching him uttered this prophecy 
in the hexameter measure : — 

** Now has the cast been made, the net is out-spread in the water, 
Through the moonshiny night the tunnies will enter the meshes," 

63. Such was the prophecy uttered under a divine 
inspiration. Pisistratus, apprehending its meaning, 
declared that he accepted the oracle, and instantly led 
on his army. The Athenians from the city had just 
finished their midday meal, after which they had 
betaken themselves, some to dice, others to sleep, when 
Pisistratus with his troops fell upon them and put them 
to the rout. As soon as the flight began, Pisistratus 
bethought himself of a most wise contrivance, whereby 
the Athenians might be induced to disperse and not 
unite in a body any more. He mounted his sons on 
horseback and sent them on in front to overtake the 
fugitives, and exhort them to be of good cheer, and 
return each man to his home. The Athenians took the 
advice, and Pisistratus became for the third time master 
of Athens.* 

64. Upon this he set himself to root his power more 
firmly, by the aid of a numerous body of mercenaries, 
and by keeping up a full exchequer, partly supplied 
from native sources, partly from the countries about 
the river Strymon.' He also demanded hostages from 

• Mr. Grote is of opinion that ** the 
proceedings " throughout this stniggle 
" have altogether the air of a concerted 
betrayal " (Hist, of Greece, vol. iv. 
p. 143). Such, however, is clearly 
not the opinion of Herodotus. And 
as the AlcmaeonidaB were undoubtedly 
at the head of affairs, and knew that 
they had nothing to hope, but every- 
thing to fear, from the success of Pi- 
sistratus, it seems quite inconceivable 
that they should have voluntarily be- 
trayed the state into his hands. It is 
prejudice to suppose that the popular 
party alone can never lose ground by 
its own fault, or without a ^e^rayaZ. The 

fact seems to have been, that at this 
time, before the weight of a tyranny 
had been felt, many, as Herodotus says, 
** loved tyranny better than freedom,** 
and the mass were indifferent. Be- 
sides, Pisistratus was considered as in 
a great measure the champion of de- 
mocracy, and his return was looked 
on by his countrymen with much the 
same feelings as those wherewith the 
French regarded that of Napoleon 
from Elba in 1815. 

^ The revenues of Pisistratus were 
derived in i>art from the income-tax 
of five per cent, which he levied from 
his subjects (Thucyd. vi, 64. 'A^- 

Chap. 63-65. 



many of the AthenianB who had remained at home, and 
not left Athene at his approach ; and these he sent to 
Naxos, which he had conquered by force of arms, and 
given over into the charge of Lygdamis.® Farther, he 
purified the island of Delos, according to the injunctions 
of an oracle, after the following fashion. All the dead 
bodies which had been interred within sight of the 
temple he dug up, and removed to another part of 
the isle.* Thus was the tyranny of Pisistratus esta- 
blished at Athens, many of the Athenians having fallen 
in the battle, and many others having fled the country 
together with the son of AlcmsBon. 

65. Such was the condition of the Athenians when 
Croesus made inquiry concerning them.* Proceeding 
to seek information concerning the Laceddemonians, he 

poiovs cIkooti^v vpcura'6iJLtvoi r&v ytyvo- 
fup^v), in part probably from the 
silver-mines at Laurium, which a little 
later were so remarkably productive 
(Herod, vii. 144). It is not certain 
that the mines at Thoricus (Xenopb. 
de Vectigal. iv. 43) were worked yet. 
He had also a third source of revenue, 
of which Herodotus here speaks, con- 
sisting apparently either of lands or 
mines lying near the Strymon, and 
belonging to him probably in his pri- 
vate capacity. That part of Thrace 
was famous for its gold and silver 
mines (infr. v. 17, 23, vi. 46 ; Thu- 
cyd. iv. 105 ; Strab. vii, p. 481). Mr. 
Grote curiously mistakes the meaning 
of this passage (vol. iv. p. 145, note *). 
** Herodotus," he says, " tells us that 
Pisistratus brought mercenary sol- 
diers from the Strymon, but that he 
levied the money to pay them in At- 
Idca : cppc^oxrc n^i^ rvpapvlda tiriKov' 
pouri Tt iroXXourt, koX j^prjfiaTOiP crvv6- 
hoitriy T&v /i€v avT6Btv, rw d« airh 
l^pvuovos norafiov <rvpi6vT€av.** As if 
the latter clause referred to the cVi- 


• It is difficult to reconcile this ac- 
count of the establishment of Lyg- 
damis in Naxos with the statements 
of Aristotle on the subject. Accord- 
ing to Aristotle, the revolution which 

VOL. I. 

placed him upon the throne was of 
home growth, and scarcely admitted 
of the interference of a foreigner. 
Q'elestagoras, a man beloved by the 
common people, had been grossly in- 
jured and insulted by some youths 
belonging to the oligarchy which then 
ruled Naxos. A general outbreak was 
the consequence, and the common 
people under Lygdamis, who though 
by birth an aristocrat, placed himself 
at their head, overcame the oligarchy, 
and made Lygdamis king. (See the 
Fragments of Aristotle in Miiller's 
Frag. Hist. Gr. vol. ii. p. 155, Fr. 
168, and comjmre Arist. Pol. V. v. 
} 1.) It is of course quite possible 
that Pisistratus may have lent Lyg- 
damis some aid; but if we accept 
Aristotle's account, which seems too 
circumstantial to be false, we must 
consider Herodotus to have been alto- 
gether mistaken in his view of the 

» Compare Thucyd. iii. 104, 
* The embassy of Croesus cannot 
possibly have been subsequent to the 
final establishment of Pisistratus at 
Athens, which was in B.C. 542 at the 
earliest. (See Clinton's F. H., vol. ii. 
pp. 252-4.) It probably occurred 
during his first term of power. 



Book I. 

learnt that, after passing through a period of great 
depression, they had lately been victorious in a war with 
the people of Tegea ; for, during the joint reign of Leo 
and Agasicles, kings of Sparta, the LacedsBmonians, 
successful in all their other wars, suffered continual 
defeats at the hands of the Tegeans. At a still earlier 
period they had been the very worst governed people 
in Greece, as well in matters of internal management 
as in their relations towards foreigners, from whom 
they kept entirely aloof. The circumstances which led 
to their being well governed were the following : — 
Lycurgus, a man of distinction among the Spartans, 
had gone to Delphi, to visit the oracle. Scarcely had 
he entered into the inner fane, when the Pythoness 
exclaimed aloud, 

" Oh I thou great Lycurgus, that com*8t to my beautiful dwelling, 
Dear to Jove, and to all who sit in the halls of Olympus, 
Whether to hail thee a god I know not, or only a mortal. 
But my hope is strong that a god thou wilt prove, Lycurgus." 

Some report besides, that the Pythoness delivered to 
him the entire system of laws which are still observed 
by the Spartans. The Lacedaemonians, however, them- 
selves assert that Lycurgus, when he was guardian of 
his nephew, Labotas,^ king of Sparta, and regent in 
his room, introduced them from Crete ; ^ for as soon 

* Since Labotas was, in all proba- 
bility, noways related to Lycurgus, 
being of the other royal bouse, and 
Lycurgus is said by Aristotle (Polit. 
n. vii. § 2) and most ancient writers 
to have been regent for Charilaiis, it 
has been proposed (Marsham, Can. 
Chron. p. 428) to read — \vKovpyov 
€iriTp<mrv(ravTa abiK<f>ib€OV /xcv i^vrovy 
fiaaiXevovTOS dc ^TraprrjTic^v Aca>/3a>- 
rcco. Larcher approves of this emend- 
ation, and translates accordingly. 
Clinton also is satisfied with it. (F. 
H. vol. i. p. 144, note *».) But in the 
first place tbe reading in Herodotus 
is at least as old as Pausanias, wbo 
says, " Herodotus in his discourse of 
Croesus asserts that Labotas in his I 

boyhood had for guardian Lycurgus 
the lawgiver.*' (Pans. in. ii. ^ 3.) 
And secondly, the alteration would 
not remove the difficulty. For La- 
botas was dead seventy years before 
Charilaiis mounted the throne. The 
truth seems to be that Herodotus has 
simply made a mistake. 

' Aristotle was of this opinion 
(Polit. II. vii. § 1). Koi yap Notice 
Koi Xcycroi dc tci srXciara fi€fnfiff^ 
(rBai tiiv KpfjTiK^v sroXcrciW 17 t&p 
Aaxavoiv. ... Koi yap t6v AvKOVpyow^ 
OT€ T^v firirpoTTtinv r^v Xaptkaov row 
PaciXtcas #caraXcira>v a7rcdi7/xi;<re, rArt 
r6v n-XctoTov dtarpiy^ai XP^"^^ V€pl 
tifv KprpTfv, 

Okip. 66. 



as he became regent, he altered the whole of the 
existing customs, substituting new ones, which he took 
care should be observed by all. After this he arranged 
whatever appertained to war, establishing the Enomotisa, 
Triacades, and Syssytia,* besides which he instituted the 
senate,' and the ephoralty .• Such was the way in which 
the Lacedaemonians became a well-governed people. 

66. On the death of Lycurgus they built him a 
temple, and ever since they have worshipped him with 
the utmost reverence. Their soil being good and the 
population numerous, they sprang up rapidly to power, 
and became a flourishing people. In consequence 
they soon ceased to be satisfied to stay quiet; and, 
regarding the Arcadians as very much their inferiors, 

^ That tlie ivaftoricu were divisions 
of the Spartan cohort i\6xos) is 
pioved by the concurrent testimony 
of Thucydides (v. 68) and Xenophon 
(Hellen. vi. iv. § 12). Thucydides 
says the \6xos contained four pente- 
cotityes and 200 men, the pentecostys 
four enomoties, and 50 men. Xeno- 
phon gives but two pentecostyes to the 
X6xoff and two enomoties to the 

Sentecostys. It is probable that the 
partans had changed the organiza- 
tion of their army during the interval. 
The word cva>fu>rta implies that its 
members were bound together by a 
common oath. Cf. Hesych. in voc. 
ip»furria — rd^is ris Bia <T<f>ayi<ov cVw- 

The rpiriKotts seem to have been 
alio divisions of the army — but divi- 
sions confined to the camp, not exist- 
ing in the field. The army was di- 
▼ided into meues of 30 men each. 
(See Larcher in loc. vol. i. p. 288.) 

The word (rva-a-iria would seem in 
this place to be exegetical of rpujica- 
dctf. It does not refer to the ordi- 
nary trwrtrirta at Sparta, but to the 
oommon meals taken by the soldiers 
in the camp, {ra is rhv ir6\€fiov 
tx^vra €va>fUJTlas Koi rpirjKadas Koi 

■ It is quite inconceivable that Ly- 
curgus should in any sense have in- 
stitutod the senate. If it ever comes 

to pass in a monarchy that the council 
of the nobles ceases to be a power in 
the state, it does not owe its re-esta- 
blishment to royal, or ^uosv-royal au- 
thority. Nothing less than a revo- 
lution can recover it. Compare the 
history of Rome under the last Tar- 
quin. Lycurgus appears to have 
made scarcely any changes in the 
constitution. What he did was to 
alter the customs and habits of the 
ixiople. With regard to the senate, 
its institution was primitive, and we 
can scarcely imagine that it had ever 
dropped out of use. As, however, 
the whole Spartan constitution was 
considered to be the work of Lycurgus, 
all its parts came by degrees to be 
assigned to him. 

' The institution of the Ephoralty 
is ascribed to Lycurgus by Xenophon 
(De Sep. Laced, viii. 3), Satyrus Tap. 
Diog. Laert. i. 68), and the author 
of the letters ascribed to Plato (£p. 
viii.). Plutarch (Lycurg. c. 7), and 
Aristotle (Polit. v. 9, § 1) assign it to 
Theopompus. These conflicting state- 
ments are best reconciled by consi- 
dering that the ephors existed as a 
magistracy at least from the time of 
Lycurgus, but obtained an entiri'ly 
new position in the reign of ITieo- 
pompus. (Cf. Thirlwall's Hist, of 
Greece, vol. i. p. 354, and see the 
Essays appended to Book Y. Essay i.) 

p 2 



Book I. 

they sent to consult the oracle about conquering the 
whole of Arcadia. The Pythoness thus answered them : 

•* Gravest thou Arcady ? Bold is thy craving. I shall not content it. 
Many the men that in Arcady dwell, whose food is the acorn — 
They will never allow thee. It is not I that am niggard. 
I will give thee to dance in Tegea, with noisy foot-fall, 
And with the measuring line mete out the glorious champaign.** 

When the Lacedaemonians received this reply, leaving 
the rest of Arcadia untouched, they marched a^inst 
the Togeam, carrying with them fetter ao coSent 
had this oracle (which was, in truth, but of base metal) 
made them that they would enslave the Tegeans. The 
battle, however, went against them, and many fell into 
the enemy's hands. Then these persons, wearing the 
fetters which they had themselves brought, and fastened 
together in a string, measured the Tegean plain as they 
executed their labours. The fetters in which they worked, 
were still, in my day, preserved at Tegea where they 
hung round the walls of the temple of Minerva Alea.* 

67. Throughout the whole of this early contest with 
the Tegeans, the Lacedaemonians met with nothing 
but defeats ; but in the time of Croesus, under the kings 
Anaxandrides and Aristo, fortune had turned in 
their favour, in the manner which I will now relate. 
Having been worsted in every engagement by their 
enemy, they sent to Delphi, and inquired of the oracle 
what god they must propitiate to prevail in the war 
against the Tegeans. The answer of the Pythoness 
was, that before they could prevail, they must remove 
to Sparta the bones of Orestes, the son of Agamemnon.^* 
Unable to discover his burial-place, they sent a second 

^ Minerva Alca was an Arcadian 
Goddess. She was worshipped at 
Mantinea, Manthyrea, and Alca, as 
well as at Tegea. Her temple at Tegea 
was particularly magnificent. See the 
description in Pausanias (VIII. xlvii. 
§ 1-2). The name Alea does not 
appear to be a local appellative, like 

Assesia (snpra, ch. 19), Pall^nis (ch. 
52), &c., but rather a title, signify- 
ing * protectress * — lit. "she who gives 

7* Compare the removal of the 
bones of Tisamenus to Sparta (Pausan. 
vn. i. § 3). 



tiine, and asked the god where the body of the hero 
had been laid. The following was the answer they 
received ; — 

" Level and smooth is the plain where Arcadian Tegoa standetli ; 
There two winds are ever, by strong necessity, blowing, 
Counter-stroke answers stroke, and evil lies upon evil. 
There all-teeming Earth doth harbour the son of Atrides ; 
Bring thou him to thy city, and then be Tegea's master.*' 

After this reply, the Lacedaemonians were no nearer 
discovering the burial-place than before, though they 
continued to search for it diligently; until at last a 
man named Lichas, one of the Spartans called Aga- 
thoergi, found it. The Agathoergi are citizens who 
have just served their time among the knights. The 
five eldest of the knights go out every year, and are 
bound during the year after their discharge, to go 
wherever the State sends them, and actively employ 
themselves in its service." 

68. Lichas was one of this body when, partly by 
good luck, partly by his own wisdom, he discovered 
the burial-place. Intercourse between the two States 
existing just at this time, he went to Tegea, and, 
happening to enter into the workshop of a smith, he 
saw him forging some iron. As he stood marvelling 
at what he beheld,® he was observed by the smith who, 
leaving off his work, went up to him and said. 

• It is difficult to reconcile this pas- 
sage with the statement of Xenopbon 
concerning the mode of election of the 
knights (De Rep. Laced, iv. 3.). 
Xenophon says the cphoi's choose three 
bnrayptTcUf who each selected a hun- 
dred youths, which seems at first 
sight to imply that the whole body of 
the knights was renewed annually. 
It is impossible to suppose that no 
more than five retired each year. 
Such an arrangement would have soon 
made the knights a body of old men. 
Possibly the Ephors of each year 
appointed Hippagretaa who drew out 
the list of knights afresh, having 
power to scratch off the roll such as 

they thought unworthy, and to place 
others upon it, the five senior members 
only being incapable of re-appoint- 
ment. The greater number of the 
knights would usually be re-appointed, 
but besides the five eldest who neces- 
sarily retired, the Hippagret^d would 
omit any whom they thought imfit 
for the service. All accounts agree in 
representing the knights as the picked 

fouth of Sparta. (Xenoph. 1. s. c. 
lutarch. Lye. c. 25. Eustath. ad 
II. e. 23.) The substitution of older 
men by Lconidas before Thermopylae 
{infra, vii. 205, and note ad locj) was 
* Herodotus means to represent that 


" Certainly, then, you Spartan etranger, you would 
have been wonderfully surprised if you had seen what 
I have, since you make a marvel even of the working 
in iron. I wanted to make myself a well in this room, 
and began to dig it, when what think you ? I came upon 
a coffin seven cubits long. I bad never believed that 
men were taller in the olden times than they are now, 
so I opened the coffin. The body inside was of the 
same length : I measured it, and filled up the hole 

Such was the man's account of what he had seen. 
The other, on turning the matter over in his mind, con- 
jectured that this was the body of Orestes, of which the 
oracle had spoken. He guessed so, because he observed 
that the smithy had two bellows, which he understood 
to be the two winds, and the hammer and anvil would 
do for the stroke and the counter-stroke, and the iron 
that was being wrought for the evil lying upon evil. 
This he imagined might be so because iron had been dia- 
covered to the hurt of man. Full of these conjectures, 
he ^ed back to Sparta and laid the whole matter before 
his countrymen. Soon after, by a concerted plan, 
they brought a charge against him, and began a pro- 
secution. Lichas betook himself to Tegea, and on his 
arrival acquainted the smith with his misfortune, and 
proposed to rent his room of him. The smith refused 
for some time ; but at last Lichas persuaded him, and 
took up his abode in it. Then he opened the grave, 
and collecting the bones, returned with them to Sparta. 
From henceforth, whenever the Spartans and the 
T^eans made trial of each other's skill in arms. 

the forgiog of inrii was a novelty at 
the time. RrAKS vns knoim to die 
Qroekii berore iron, as iIk/ Homeric 
B (TufBciendy inilic.ilo. C(. also 
Hoiod. Op. H Dies, Uu-1. 


and Lucretius, 

^' Prior jBTfi qoim r«nl co|pi[tu waB" (t. lass). 

HsQce smithies were termed x^- 

Ktla,ya\K^ia, aa in this iDStuice^ — ejad 

Cbaf. 69. 



the Spartans always had greatly the advantage ; and 
by the time to which we are now come they were 
masters of most of the Peloponnese. 

69. Croesus, informed of all these circumstances, sent 
messengers to Sparta, with gifts in their hands, who 
were to ask the Spartans to enter into alliance with 
him. They received strict injunctions as to what they 
should say, and on their arrival at Sparta spake as 
follows : — 

" Croesus, king of the Lydians and of other nations, 
has sent us to speak thus to you ; * Oh ! Lacedaemonians, 
the god has bidden me to make the Greek my friend ; 
I therefore apply to you, in conformity with the oracle, 
knowing that you hold the first rank in Greece, and 
desire to become your friend and ally in all true faith 
and honesty.' " 

Such was the message which Croesus sent by his 
heralds. The Lacedaemonians, who were aware before- 
hand of the reply given him by the oracle, were full 
of joy at the coming of the messengers, and at once 
took the oaths of friendship and alliance : this they did 
the more readily as they had previously contracted 
certain obligations towards him. They had sent to 
Sardis on one occasion to purchase some gold, intending 
to use it on a statue of Apollo — the statue, namely, 
which remains to this day at Thomax in Laconia,^ 
when Croesus, hearing of the matter, gave them as a 
gift the gold which they wanted. 

^ PansaDias declares that the gold 
obtained of Croosus by the Lacedaemo- 
nians was used in fact upon a statue 
of Apollo at Amyclas (III. x. § 10). 
Larcher, and Siebelis (ad Pausan. I. s. 
c.) remark that this does not in 
reality contradict Herodotus, since he 
only states the intention of the Spar- 
tans, which Pausanias recognises, 
while the latter gives in addition their 

This is no doubt tme. But the 

same explanation cannot be given of 
the passage of Theopompus (Fr. 219. )» 
which distinctly asserts that the ori- 
ginal ohject of the Lacedaemonians 
was to buy gold for the Amyclseaa 
statue. One interesting fact is learnt 
from this writer, viz. that the gold 
was used to cover the face of the 
statue, which was of colossal size, 45 
feet high, according to Pausanias (m. 
xix. § 2). 


70. This was one reason why the Lacedaemonians 
were so willing to make the alliance : another was, 
because Croesus had chosen them for his friends in 
preference to all the other Greeks. They therefore 
held themselves in readiness to come at his smnmons, 
and not content with so doing, they further had a huge 
vase made in bronze, covered with figures of animals 
all round the outside of the rim, and large enough to 
contain three hundred amphorae, which they sent to 
Crcesus as a return for his presents to them. The 
vase, however, never reached Sardis. Its miscarriage 
is accounted for in two quite diflferent ways. The 
Lacedaemonian story is, that when it reached Samos, 
on its way towards Sardis, the Samians having know- 
ledge of it, put to sea in their ships of war and made 
it their prize. But the Samians declare, that the 
Lacedaemonians who had the vase in charge, happening 
to arrive too late, and learning that Sardis had fallen 
and that Croesus was a prisoner, sold it in their island, 
and the purchasers (who were, they say, private 
persons) made an offering of it at the shrine of Juno :* 
the sellers were very likely on their return to Sparta 
to have said that they had been robbed of it by the 
Samians. Such, then, was the fate of the vase. 

71. Meanwhile Croesus, taking the oracle in a 
wrong sense, led his forces into Cappadocia, fully 
expecting to defeat Cyrus and destroy the empire of 
the Persians. While he was still engaged in making 
preparations for his attack, a Lydian named Sandanis, 
who had always been looked upon as a wise man, biit 
who after this obtained a very great name indeed 
among his countrymen, came forward and counselled 
the king in these words : 

"Thou art about, oh! king, to make war against 
men who wear leathern trousers, and have all their 

• Vide infra, ii, 182. 



other garments of leather ;*• who feed not on what they 
like, but on what they can get from a soil that is 
sterile and unkindly ; who do not indulge in wine, but 
drink water; who possess no figs nor anything else 
that is good to eat. If, then, thou conquerest them, 
what canst thou get from them, seeing that they have 
nothing at aU? But if they conquer thee, consider 
how much that is precious thou wilt lose : if they once 
get a taste of our pleasant things, they will keep such 
hold of them that we shall never be able to make them 
loose their grasp. For my part, I am thankful to the 
gods, that they have not put it into the hearts of the 
Persians to invade Lydia." 

Crcesus was not persuaded by this speech, though it 
was true enough ; for before the conquest of Lydia, 
the Persians possessed none of the luxuries or delights 
of life. 

72. The Cappadocians are known to the Greeks by 
the name of Syrians.^ Before the rise of the Persian 
power, they had been subject to the Medes ; but at the 
present time they were within the empire of Cyrus, 
for the boundary between the Median and the Lydian 

*• For a description of the Persian 
dress, see note on ch. 135. 

■ Vide infra, vii. 72. The Cappado- 
cians of Herodotus inhabit the country 
bounded by the Euxine on the north, 
the Halys on the west, the Armenians 
apparently on the east (from whom 
the Cappadocians are clearly distin- 
guished, vii. 72-3), and the Matieni 
on the south. 

It has been usual to consider the 
fact that the Cappadocians were always 
called Syrians by the Greeks (supra, 
ch. 6, infra, vii. 72 ; Strab. xii. p. 788 ; 
Dionys. Perieg. ver. 772 ; Rcylax. p. 
80; Ptol. V. 6 ; Apollon. Rhod. ii. 946 ; 
Eustath. ad Dion. Per.) as almost in- 
disputable evidence of their being a 
Semitic race. (Prichard's Researches 
into the Phys. Hist, of Mankind, vol. 
iii. p. 561 ; Bunsen's Philosophy of 
Univ. Hist. vol. ii. p. 10.) But uiere 

are strong grounds for questioning this 
conclusion. See the Critical Essays, 
Essay xi.. On the Ethnic Affinities 
of the Nations of Western Asia. 

In the Persian inscriptions Cappa- 
docia is mentioned under the name of 
Katapatuka, and appeared to be as- 
signed wider limits than those given 
in Herodotus. (See Col. Rawlinson's 
Memoir on the Behistun Inscription. 
Vol. II. p. 95 ) No countries are 
named between Armenia and Ionia 
but Cappadocia and Saparda, which 
together fill up the whole of Asia 
Minor except the western coast. See 
the three enumerations of the Persian 
provinces in the inscriptions of Darius 
(l>ages 197, 280, and 294 of the first 
volume of Col. Rawlinson's Memoir), 
and compare the notes on the Baby- 
lonian text (vol. iii. p. xix.) 



empires was the river Halys. This stream, which rises 
in L mountain oonntiy of Armenia, mns fii^ throngh 
Cilicia ; afterwards it flows for a while with the 
Mati^i on the right, and the Phrygians on the left : 
then, when they are passed, it proceeds with a northern 
course, separating thVCappadocian Syrians from the 
Paphi;gonians,Tho occnp^*^ left bank, thus forming 
the boundary of ahnost the whole of Lower Asia, from 
the sea opposite Cyprus to the Euxine. Just there is 
the neck of the peninsula, a journey of five days across 
for an active walker.* 

73. There were two motives which led Orcesus to 

^ Herodotns tells ub in one place 
(iv. 101) that he reckons the aay*8 
jcmraey at 200 stadia, that is at ahout 
23 of our miles. If we regard this as 
tlie measure intended here, we must 
consider that Herodotus imagined the 
isthmus of Katolia to be but 115 miles 
across, 165 miles short of the truth. 
It must be observed, however, that the 
ordinary day's journey cannot be in- 
tended by the Mt fil^dti^^ MpL 
'The at^p «ii{»vos is not the mere com- 
mon traveller. He is the lightly- 
equipped pedestrian, and his day's 
Journey must be estimated at some- 
thing oonsiderablv above 200 stades. 
Major liennell, in his comments on the 
passage (Geogr. of Herod, p. 190), 
made an allowance on this account, 
and reckoned the day's journey of the 
"active walker" at about 30 miles. 
Even thus, however, the error of He- 
rodotus remained very considerable — 
a mistake of 130, instead of 165, miles. 
Dahlmann (Life of Herod., pp. 72-3. 
E. T.) endeavours to vindicate Hero- 
dotus from having erred at all. He 
remarks that the story of Thidip- 
pides (Herod, vi. 106) proves that 
the trained runners (nfitpo^p6fioi) of 
the period could travel from 50 to 60 
miles a day, and supposes Herodotus 
to allude to certain known cases in 
which the isthmus had been traversed 
in five days. But 1. it does not 
seem correct to regard the dv^p tii(a>vos 
as the same with the fip^pobpdfios, 
and 2. Herodotus appears to speak 

not of any particular case or cases, but 
generally of all lightly equipped pedes- 
trians. He cannot therefore be rightly 
regarded as free from mistake in the 
matter. Probably he considered ^e 
isthmus at least 100 miles narrower 
than it really is. 

It renders such a mistake the less 
surprising to find that Pliny, after aU 
the additional information derived 
from the expedition of Alexander and 
the Roman occupation, estimated the 
distance at no more than 200 Koman, 
or less than 190 British miles. (Plin. 

vi. 20 

[Tne day's journey of Herodotus, 
mentioned in iv. 101, refers to the 
regular caravan stage performed by 
loaded camels or mules, and is cor- 
rectly enough estimated at 200 Olym- 
pic stadia. The average length of 
such a stage at the present day is 6 
farsakhs, or about 22^ English miles. 
The Tip^po^p6fioSf on the other hand, 
is to be com^iared to the Kdsidj or 
foot-messenger of the present day, 
who, in fine weather and over a toler- 
ably easy country, ought to accom- 
plish 50 miles per diem. It may be 
doubted, however, considering the 
rugged character of the range of 
Taurus and its branches, if the most 
active Kasid could pass from Tarsus on 
the Mediterranean to Sam soon on the 
Euxine— estimated by Eratosthenes 
(Strab. ii. 1) at 3000 stadia— in less 
than 10 days.— H.O.R.] 

Chap. 73, 74. CHIEF MOTIVE OF CROSSCS. 211 

attack Oappadocia : firstly, he coveted the land, which 
he wished to add to hie own dominions; but the chief 
reason was, that he wanted to revenge on Cyrus the 
wrongs of Astyages, and was made confident by the 
oracle of being able so to do : for the Astyages, son 
of Cyaxares and king of the Medes, who had been 
dethroned by Cyrus, son of Cambyses, was Croesus' 
brother by marriage. This marriage had taken place 
imder circumstances which I will now relate. A band 
of Scythian nomads, who had left their own land on 
occasion of some disturbance, had taken refuge in 
Media. Cyaxares, son of Phraortes, and grandson 
of Deioces, was at that time king of the country. 
Recognising them as suppliants, he began by treating 
them with kindness, and coming presently to esteem 
them highly, he intrusted to their care a number of 
boys, whom they were to teach their language and to 
instruct in the use of the bow. Time passed, and the 
Scythians employed themselves, day after day, in hunt- 
ing, and always brought home some game ; but at last 
it chanced that one day they took nothing. On their 
return to Cyaxares with empty hands, that monarch, 
who was hot-tempered, as he showed upon the occasion, 
received them very rudely and insultingly. In conse- 
quence of this treatment, which they did not conceive 
themselves to have deserved, the Scythians determined 
to take one of the boys whom they had in charge, cut 
him in pieces, and then dressing the flesh as they were 
wont to dress that of the wild animals, serve it up to 
Cyaxares as game : after which they resolved to convey 
themselves with all speed to Sardis, to the court of 
Alyattes, the son of Sadyattes. The plan was carried 
out : Cyaxares and his guests ate of the flesh prepared 
by the Scythians, and they themselves, having accom- 
plished their purpose, fled to Alyattes in the guise of 

74. Afterwards, on the refusal of Alyattes to give 




Up his suppliants when Cyaxares sent to demand them 
of him, war broke out ' between the Lydians and the 
Medes, and continued for five years, with various 
success. In the course of it the Medes gained many 
victories over the Lydians, and the Lydians also 
gained many victories over the Medes. Among their 
other battles there was one night engagement. As, 
however, the balance had not inclined in favour of 
either nation, another combat took place in the sixth 
year, in the course of which, just as the battle was 
growiDg warm, day was on a sudden changed into 
night. This event had been foretold by Thales, the 
Milesian, who forewarned the lonians of it, fixing for 
it the very year in which it actually took place.* 

* Mr. Grote remarks that " the 
passage of nomadic hordes from one 
government in the East to another 
has been always, and is even down to 
the present day, a frequent cause of 
dispute between the different govern- 
ments: they are valuable both as 
tributaries and as soldiers." And he 
proceeds to give instances (vol. iii. 
p. 310, note 1). But one cannot but 
suspect the whole story to be either 
pure invention, or a distorted repre- 
sentation of the fact, that some of the 
Scythians whom Cyaxares had ex- 
pelled from Media fled westward and 
took service with the Lydian king. 
(See the subject discussed in the 
Essay "On the Early Chronology 
and History of Lydia.") 

• Various years have been assigned 
as the true date of this eclipse. 
Among the ancients, Pliny (ii. xii.) 
placed it 01. 48. 4 (b.c. 584), Cle- 
mens Alexandrinus (Stromat. i. p. 
854) in 01. 60. 1 (b.c. 579). Of mo- 
dems, Volney inclines to b.c. 626, 
Bouhier and Larcher to b.c. 597, Mr. 
Clinton to b.o. 603, Ideler and Mr. 
Grote to b.c. 610, Des Vignoles and 
Mr. Bosanquet to b.o. 585. Mr. Grote 
says that "recent calculations made 
by Oltmanns from the newest astro- 
nomical tables, and more trustworthy 
than the calculations which preceded, 
have shown that the eclipse of 610 b.c. 

fulfils the conditions required, and 
that the other eclipses do not" (Grote'a 
Hist, of Greece, vol. iii. p. 312, note). 
Mr. Bosanquet (Fall of Nineven, 
p. 14) depends on the still more re- 
cent calculations of Mr. Hind and 
Mr. Airey. 

That Thales predicted this eclipse 
was asserted by Aristotle's disciple, 
Eudemus (Clem. Alex. 1. s. c), as 
also by Cic. (de Div. i. 49) and Pliny 
(ii. 12). Another prediction is ascribed 
to him by Aristotle himself (Polit. i. 
v.), that of a good olive-crop. A third 
by Nicolas of Damascus Tp. 68, Orelli). 
Anaxagoras was said to nave foretold 
the fall of an aerolite (Arist. Me- 
teorol. i. 7). 

[The prediction of this eclipse by 
Thales may fairly be classed with the 
prediction of a good olive crop or of 
the fall of an aerolite. Thales, in- 
deed, could only have obtained the 
requisite knowledge for predicting 
eclipses from the Cbaldseans, and that 
the science of these astronomers, al- 
though sufficient for the investigation 
of lunar eclipses, did not enable them 
to calculate solar eclipses — dependent 
as such a calculation is, not only on 
the determination of the period of 
recurrence, but on the true projection 
also of the track of the sun's &adow 
along a particular line over the sur- 
face of the earth — may be inferred 

Qbap. 74. 



The Medes and Lydians, when they observed the 
change, ceased fighting, and were alike anxious to have 
tarmfl of peace agreed on. Syeunesis' of CiUcia," and 

fipom our finding that in the astrono- 
mical canon of Ptolemy, which was 
compiled from the Ghaldieean registers, 
the ohservations of the moon's eclipse 
are alone entered. — H.C.R.] 

^ The name Syennesis is common 
to all the kings of Cilicia mentioned 
in history. Vide infra, v. 118 ; vii. 
98 ; Xenoph. Anab. i. ii. $ 25 ; iEs- 
chyl. Pers. 324. It has been sup- 
posed not to be really a name, but, 
like Pharaoh, a title. Of. Bahr in loc. 

[The Cuneiform inscriptions do not 
assist us in determining whether 
Syennesis was a title or a proper 
name. The only cuneiform name 
which has any resemblance to it is 
that of Si^if who was king of Daydn, 
a province contiguous to Cilicia, under 
the first Tiglathpileser of Assyria, in 
about B.C. 1120. The kings of Cilicia 
mentioned by the Greeks are of a 
much later date, being the respective 
contemporaries of Cyaxares, Darius, 
Xerxes, and Artaxerxes Mncmon. — 
H. C. R.j 

** Cilicia had become an independent 
state, either by the destruction of 
Assyria, or in the course of her de- 
cline after the reign of Esarhaddon. 
Previously, she had been included in 
the dominions of the Assyrian kings. 

[Cilicia is first mentioned in the 
Cuneiform inscriptions about b.c. 711, 
Sargon, in the ninth year of his reign, 
having sent an expedition against 
AmbriSj the son of Khtdiya, who was 
hereditary chief of Tubal (the southern 
slopes of Taurus), and upon whom 
the Assyrian monarch is said at an 
earlier period to have bestowed the 
country of Cilicia (Khilak) as the 
dowry of his daughter Maruk, Am- 
hri8, it appears, regardless of this 
alliance and of the favour with which 
he was treated by Sargon, had culti- 
vated relations with the Kings of 
Mu&ak and Vararat (Meshcch and 
Ararat, or the Moschi and Armenia), 
who were in revolt against Assyria, 
and thus drew on himself the hostility 
of the great king. His chief city. 

Bit-Burutas, was taken and sacked, 
and he himself was brought a prisoner 
to Nineveh, Assyrian colonists being 
sent to occupy the country. 

In the reign of Sennacherib, about 
B.C. 701, Cilicia again revolted and 
was reduced, a vast number of the 
inhabitants being carried off to Nine- 
veh to assist, in concert with Chal- 
daean, Aramaean, Syrian, and Arme- 
nian captives, in building that famous 
palace of which the ruins have lately 
been excavated at Koyunjik. 

Wlien Polyhistor describes as con- 
tinuous events under the reign of 
Sennacherib — the repulse by the As- 
syrians of a Greek invasion of Cilicia, 
the erection of a trophy on the spot to 
commemorate the monarch's exploits, 
and the subsequent building of Tarsus 
— he is probably confounding together 
three independent matters belonging 
to three distinct periods of history ; 
for the only irruption of the Greeks 
into the Assyrian territory recorded 
in the inscriptions took place under 
Sargon, while Sennacherib's trophy 
on the shore of the Mediterranean 
refers to the conquest of Phoenicia 
and the defeat of the Egyptians, and 
not to any repulse of the Greeks ; and 
Tarsus, again, instead of being built 
by that monarch, was in reality 
founded by Esarhaddon, after his 
conquest of Sidon, as stated in his 
annals. The Inscriptions have not 
furnished us as yet with any notice 
of Tarsus or Cilicia after the time of 
Esarhaddon. Bochart supposes the 
name of Cilicia to be derived from the 

Hebrew root p^n, and to have been 

given to the country on account of its 
rugged and stony character ; but the 
Hebrew Khdlak, although applied to 
" stones," signifies properly, " to be 
smooth" or " polished,** and is thus 
singularly inapplicable to Cilicia. 
There are indeed no grounds whatever 
for assigning a Semitic etymology to 
the name. The ancient Cilicians in 
all probability belonged to the same 


LabjTietus* of Babylon, wei>? the persons who mediated 
between the parties who hastened the taking of the 
oaths, and brtnight aK^ut the exchange of espousals. 
It was they who advi^ae^l that Alyattes should give 
his daughter Aryenis in nianriage to Astyages the son 
of Cyaxare^ knowing, as they did» that without some 
sure bond of strong nece?ssdty, there is wont to be but 
little security in men's c\n-enants. Oaths are taken 
by these people in the same way as by the Greeks, 
except that they make a slight flesh wound in their 
arms, from which each sucks a jK»rtion of the other's 
\^ blood,* 

75, CS-rus had captunnl this Astyages, who was his 
mother s father, and kept him prisoner, for a reason 
which I shall bring forward in another part of my 
history. This capture formed the ground of quarrel 
between Cyrus and Croesus, in consetjuence of which 
Croesus sent his servants to ask the oracle if he should 
attack the Persians; and when an evasive answer 
came, fancying it to be in his favour, carried his arms 
into the Persian territorv. When he reached the 
river Halys, he transjK>rted liis army across it, as I 
maintain, by the bridges which exist there at the pre- 
sent day ; * but, according to the general belief of the 

ScTthic familj as the neighbouring else is known. He might be a son 
ivoes of Meshech simI Tubal. — H.C.K.] of Xalx>iH.>Iaj(sar. 

• The Babylonian monarch at this • Vide infra, iv. 70, and Tacit An- 
time was either Nabopolassar or Xe- ' nal. xii. 47. 

buchadnezzar. (See the Astronomical * The Halys {Kizii Irmak) is ford- 
Canon.) Neither of these names is able at no very great distance from 
profjerly Hellenized bv Labynetus. its mouth (Hamilton's Asia Minor, 
Labjnetus is undoubtedly the' Xabu- vol. i. p. 327), but bridges over it are 
nit of the inscriptions, the Xabonadius not unfretiuent (ibid. p. 297, 411). 
of the Canon, the Nabonnedus of Be- i These are of a very simple construe- 

rosus and Megasthenes. lliere was ' tion, consisting of planks laid across 
only one king of the name between ; a few slender beams, extending from 
Nabonassar (b.c. 747) and Cyrus. He ', bank to bank, without any {«rapet. 
reigned 17 years, from b.c. 565 to B.C. ! Bridges with stone piers have existed 
538. If the nanie here be not a mis- at some former period (ib. p. 326), 
take of our author's, this labynetus I but they belong pruliably to Roman, 

must have been a prince of the royal | and not to any earlier times. The 
house, sent in command of the Baby- < ancient constructions mentioned by 
kmian contingent, of whom nothing | Herodotus are mora likely to have 

Ohab. 75, 76* 



Greeks,^ by the aid of Thales the Milefidan. The tale 
is, that Croesus was in doubt how he should get his 
army across, as the bridges were not made at that 
time, and that Thales, who happened to be in the 
camp^ divided the stream and caused it to flow on both 
sides of the army instead of on the left only. This 
he effected thus : — Beginning some distance above the 
camp, he dug a deep channel, which he brought round 
in a semicircle, so that it might pass to rearward of 
the camp ; and that thus the river, diverted from its 
natural course into the new channel at the point where 
this left the stream, might flow by the station of the 
army, and afterwards fall again into the ancient bed. 
In this way the river was spKt into two streams, which 
were both easily fordable. It is said by some that the 
water was entirely drained off from the natural bed of 
the river. But I am of a different opinion ; for I do 
not see how, in that case, they could have crossed it on 
their return. 

76. Having passed the Halys with the forces imder 
his command, Croesus entered the district of Cappa- 
docia which is called Pteria.' It lies in the neigh- 
bourhood of the city of Sin6p6* upon the Euxine, 

been of the modem type. By his use 
of the ploml number in this place we 
may conclude, that on the route to 
which he refers the river was crossed 
by two bridges, advantage heing taken 
of its separation into two channels. 
This is the case now at Bafra, on the 
route between Samsun and Bindpe, 
which is not unlikely to have been 
the point at which Croesus passed the 
river. The £act of the double channel 
may have given rise to the story 
about Thales. 

• Larcher (vol. i. p. 313) remarks 
that this opinion held its ground not- 
withstanding the opposition of He- 
rodotus. It is spoken of as an in- 
disputable fact by the Scholiast on 
Aristophanes (Nubes, 18), by Lucian 
(Hippias, § 2, vol. vii. p. 295), and by 
Diogenes Laertius (i. 38). 

' Pteria in Herodotus is a district, 
not a city, as Larcher supposes (not. 
ad loc.). Its capital ('* the dty of the 
Pterians ") may have borne the same 
name, as Stephen seems to have 
thought (ad voc. Hrcpia), but this if 
uncertain. The site cannot possibly be 
at Boghaz'Keuif where M. Texier 
places it (Asie Mineure, vol. i. pp. 
222-4), for the connexion of the name 
with Sindp^ both in Herodotus and in 
Stephen, implies that Pteria was near 
the coast. A name resembling Pteria 
seems to have been given to several 
Asiatic strongholds, as to a certain 
Median city, and to the acropolis of 
Babylon. (Steph. Byz. 1. s. c.) 

* Sindp^ which recent events have 
onoe more made famous, was a colony 
of the Milesians, founded about b.o. 
630 (infra, iv. 12). It occupied the 


and is the strongest position in the whole conntiy 
thereabouts. Here Croesus pitched his camp, and 
began to ravage the fields of the Syrians. He 
besieged and took the chief cily of the Pterians, and 
reduced the inhabitants to slavery : he likewise made 
himself master of the surrounding villages. Thus he 
brought ruin on the Syrians, who were guilty of no 
offence towards him. Meanwhile, Cyrus had levied 
an army and marched against Croesus, increasing his 
nxmibers at every step by the forces of the nations that 
lay in his way. Before beginning his march he had 
sent heralds to the lonians, with an invitation to them 
to revolt from the Lydian king : they, however, had 
refused compliance. Cyrus, notwithstanding, marched 
against the enemy, and encamped opposite them in 
the district of Pteria, where the trial of strength took 
place between the contending powers. The combat 
was hot and bloody, and upon both sides the number 
of the slain was great; nor had victory declared in 
fiavour of either party, when night came down upon 
the battle-field. Thus both armies fought valiantly. 

77. Croesus laid the blame of his ill success on the 
number of his troops, which fell very short of the 
enemy ; and as on the next day Cyrus did not repeat 
the attack, he set oflF on his return to Sardis, intending 
to collect his allies and renew the contest in the 
spring. He meant to call on the Egyptians to send 
him aid, according to the terms of the alliance which 
he had concluded with Amasis,* previously to his league 
with the Lacedsemonians. He intended also to sum- 
mon to his assistance the Babylonians, under their king 
Labynetus,* for they too were bound to him by treaty : 

neck of a small peninsula projecting 
into the Euxine towards the north- 
east, in lat. 42', long. 35°, nearly. 
The ancient town has heen completely 
ruined, and the modem is huilt of its 
lents (Hamilton's Asia Minor, 
1 p. 317-9). 

* The treaty of Amasis with Croesus 
would suffice to account for the hos- 
tility of the Persians against Egypt. 
(See note on Book ii. ch. 177.) 

• Undoubtedly the Nabonadius of 
the Canon, and the Nabunit of the 
monuments. The fact that it was 

Chap. 77, 78. 



and further, he meant to send word to Sparta, and 
appoint a day for the coming of their succours. Having 
got together these forces in addition to his own, he would, 
as soon as the winter was past and springtime come, 
march once more against the Persians. With these in- 
tentions Croesus, immediately on his return, despatched 
heralds to his various allies, with a request that they 
would join him at Sardis in the course of the fifth 
month from the time of the departure of his messengers. 
He then disbanded the army — consisting of mercenary 
troops — which had been engaged with the Persians and 
had since accompanied him to his capital, and let them 
depart to their homes, never imagining that Cyrus, 
after a battle in which victory had been so evenly 
balanced, would venture to march upon Sardis. 

78. While Croesus was still in this mind, all the 
suburbs of Sardis were found to swarm with snakes, on 
the appearance of which the horses left feeding in the 
pasture-grounds, and flocked to the suburbs to eat them. 
The king, who witnessed the unusual sight, regarded 
it very rightly as a prodigy. He therefore instantly 
sent messengers to the soothsayers of Telmessus,' to 
consult them upon the matter. His messengers reached 

with this monarch that Crccsiis made 
his treaty helps greatly to fix the 
date of the fall of Sardis; it provpit 
that that event cannot have happened 
earlier than B.C. 554. For Nabunit 
did not ascend the throne till B.C. 555 
(Astron. Can.), and a full year must 
be allowed between the conclusion of 
the treaty and the taking of the Ly- 
dian capital. 

[As Nebuchadnezzar had a few 
years previously carried the Baby- 
lonian arms over all Western Asia, 
reasserting the ancient Assyrian su- 
premacy over the countries which 
touched the Mediterranean, there is 
no improbability in the existence of 
political relations between Croesus and 
Nabunit. The history of this king, 
however, the last of the Babylonian 

VOL. I. 

monarchs, so far as it has been as yet 
recovered from the monuments, is 
exclusively domestic, and thus does 
not enable us to ascertain what part 
he took in the contest between Cyrus 
and Cropsus. — H. C. R.] 

' There were two cities of this 
name in Asia Minor, one in Lycia on 
the coast, the other, called also Ter- 
messus, in Pisidia. Both are men- 
tioned by Arrian (Exped. Alex. i. 
xxiv. and xxvii.), and by Strabo (xiii. 
p. 981 ; xiv. p. 982). The Lycian city 
was the one famous for its sooth- 
sayers (Suidas in voc. TcX/i«crc«). 
Cicero places it in Caria when he 
says ** Telmessus in Caria est, qu4 
in urbe excellit hanispicum disci- 
plina" (De Div. i. 41). In this he 
follows Poleraon (Fr. 35). Other 




Book I. 

the city, and obtained from the Telmessians an ex- 
planation of what the prodigy portended, but fate did 
not allow them to inform their lord ; for ere they 
entered Sardis on their return, Croesus was a prisoner. 
What the Telmessians had declared was, that Croesus 
must look for the entry of an army of foreign invaders 
into his country, and that when they came they would 
subdue the native inhabitants; since the shake, said 
they, is a child of earth, and the horse a warrior and a 
foreigner. Croesus was already a prisoner when the 
Tehnessians thus answered his inquiry, but they had no 
knowledge of what was taking place at Sardis, or of the 
fate of the monarch. 

79. Cyrus, however, when Croesus broke up so sud- 
denly from his quarters after the battle at Pteria, con- 
ceiving that he had marched away with the intention 
of disbanding his army, considered a little, and soon 
saw that it was advisable for him to advance upon 
Sardis with all haste, before the Lydians could get 
their forces together a second time. Having thus de- 
termined, he lost no time in carrying out his plan. He 
marched forward with such speed that he was himself 
the first to announce his coming to the Lydian king. 
That monarch, placed in the utmost difficulty by the 
turn of events which had gone so entirely against all his 
calculations, nevertheless led out the Lydians to battle. 
In all Asia there was not at that time a braver or more 
warlike people.® Their manner of fighting was on 

writers remark that the city was 
exactly at the confines of Caria and 
Lycia (cf. Plin.v. 27; Pomp. Mel. 
i. 16). 

Telmessus lay upon the coast occu- 
pying the site of the modern village 
of Makrif where are some curious re- 
mains, esfwcially tombs, partly Greek, 
partly native Lycian. In the Greek 
inscriptions at this place the name is 
written Telmessus, not Telmissus, as 
in Arrian. (See Clarke's Travels, vol. 
ii. p. 222 et seqq. ; Fcllow8*8 Asia 

Minor, p. 243 et seqq. ; Leake's Tour, 
p. 128 ; and for pictorial representa- 
tions consult the magnificent w(^ of 
M. Texier, vol. iii. plates 166-178.) 

' Mr. Grote has some good obserr- 
ations on the contrast between the 
earlier and the later national cha- 
racter of the Lydians and Phiygians 
(Hist, of Greece, vol. iii. pp. 289- 
291). The Lydians did not become 
&PpobicuTOi (^sch. Pers. 40) until 
after the Persian conquest. 


horseback : they carried loliff lances, and were clever 
in the management of their steeds. 

80, The two armies met in the plain before Sardis. 
It is a vast flat, bare of trees, watered by the Hyllus 
and a number of other streams, which all flow into one 
larger than the rest, called the Hermns.* This river 
rises in the sacred mountain of the Dindymenian Mo- 
ther,^ and falls into the sea near the town of Phocaea.* 

* Sardis (the modern 8art) stood 
in the broad valley of the Hermus at 
a point where the hills approach each 
other more closely than in any other 
place. Some vestiges of the ancient 
town remain, but, except the ruins of 
the great temple of Cjh^\4 (infra, v. 
102), they seem to be of a late date 
(Texier, vol. iii. pp. 17-19). Above 
Sardis, to the east, opens out the 
plain, formed by the junction of the 
Gogamus with the Hermus, thus de- 
scribed by Chandler : " The plain be- 
side the Uermos, which divides it, is 
well watered by rills from the slopes. 
It is wide, beautiful, and cultivated." 
(Travels, vol. i. ch. Ixxiv. p. 289.) 
^trabo appears to have intended this by 
his " plain of Cynis," which adjoined 
Phrygia (xiii. p. 929). See Rennell's 
Geography of Western Asia, vol. i. 
p. 383. 

There is a second more extensive 
and still richer plain below Sardis, of 
which Strabo also s])eaks (vTroxcIreu 
r§ nSKti (Sardis) r6 rt 2ap^iay6v 
frcdiov, Koi t6 tov "EpfjMVj koX t6 
Kav(TTpuiy6y, avvtxv ^' ^vra kqI irav- 
rav apia-ra ircditfv). This plain 
is formed by the junction of the Hyl- 
lus with the Hermus, and reaches 
from Magnesia, the modern Manser, 
to Sardis. It is thus spoken of by 
Sir C. Fellows : — " From Manser we 
started before nine o'clock, and tra- 
velled across the valley directly north. 
At two miles distance we crossed the 
river Hermus by a bridge, and almost 
immediately afterwards its tributary, 
the Hyllus, by a ferry ; the latter is 
larger (?) than the main river, which 
it joins within a furlong of the ferry. 
The valley over which we continued 
to ride must be at least twelve miles 
directly across from Manser. . . . The 

land is excellent, and I scarcely saw a 
stone during the first eighteen miles. 
Cotton and com grow luxuriantly^ 
but there are few trees (compare 
Herodotus*s ^ikhp) except the willow 
and pollard poplar.*' (Fellows* Asia 
Minor, p. 201.) ITiis must certainly 
be the plain intended by Herodotus : 
t6 fTidioy t6 TTpb tov Sitrrtos rov 2ap- 
^ir)vov . . . dc^ df avrov irvrapoX 
ptOVTfg Koi ^XcK Kal *YXXoff (Tvp- 
prjfyvva-i €S t6v ficytaroy, KaKt6p€vov dc 
'Eppov, But it is scarcely ix)ssible 
that the battle can really have taken 
place on this side of Sardis. 

* The Dindymenian mother was 
Cybfil^, the special deity of Phrygia. 
It is impossible to say for certain what 
mountain or mountain-range Hero- 
dotus intended by his olpos Mrirphs 
Aivivprfvrjs, The interior of Asia 
Minor was but very little known in 
his day. Probably, however, he meant 
to place the sources of the Hermus in 
Phrygia, which is correct, so far as it 

The Hermus rises from two prin- 
cipal sources, both in the range of 
Morad, which is a branch from the 
great chain of Taurus, forming the 
watershed between the streams which 
flow westward into the iEgean, and 
those which run northward into the 
Euxine. The chief source of the two 
is not, as Col. Leake thought (Asia 
Minor, p. 169), that which rises near 
the modern Ohiediz or Kodus (the 
Kaboi of Strabo), but the stream flow- 
ing from the foot of Morad Dag\ 
which has perhaps some claim to be 
regarded as the Mount Dindymfin^ of 
Strabo (xiii. p. 897) and our author. 
See Hamilton's Asia Minor, vol. i. 
p, 108. 

• The Hermus (Ohiediz- ChaC) now 

Q 2 



Book I. 

When Cyrus beheld the Lydians arranging them- 
selves in order of battle on this plain, fearful of the 
strength of their cavalry, he adopted a device which 
Harpagus, one of the Medes, suggested to him. He 
collected together all* the camels that had come in the 
train of his army to carry the provisions and the 
baggage, and taking off their loads, he mounted riders 
upon them accoutred as horsemen. These he com- 
manded to advance in front of his other troops against 
the Lydian horse ; behind them were to follow the foot 
soldiers, and last of all the cavalry. When his arrange- 
ments were complete, he gave his troops orders to slay 
all the other Lydians who came in their way without 
mercy, but to spare Croesus and not kill him, even if he 
should be seized and offer resistance. The reason why 
Cyrus opposed his camels to the enemy's horse was, 
because the horse has a natural dread of the camel, and 
cannot abide either the sight or the smell of that animal. 
By this stratagem he hoped to make Croesus's horse 
useless to him,^ the horse being what he chiefly de- 
pended on for victory. The two armies then joined 
battle, and immediately the Lydian war-horses, seeing 
and smelling the camels, turned round and galloped 
off; and so it came to pass that all Croesus's hopes 
withered away. The Lydians, however, behaved man- 
fully. As soon as they understood what was happen- 
ing, they leaped off their horses, and engaged with the 
Persians on foot. The combat was long ; but at last, 

falls into the sea very much nearer to 
Smyrna than to Phoca?a. lis course 
is perpetually changing (Chandler, 
vol, i. ch. xxi.), and of late years its 
embouchure has been gradually ap- 
proaching Smyrna, whose harbour is 
seriously threatened by the extensive 
shoals which advance opposite the 
Sanjiac Kaleh, formed of the mud 
;ht down by the Hermus. (See 
il ton's Asia Minor, vol. i. p. 45.) 
~t is said that in one of the great 

battles between the Servians and the 
Turks " a council of war was held in 
the Turkish camp, and some of the 
generals proposed that the camels 
should be placed in front of the army, 
in order that the horses of the enemy 
might be frightened by them." It 
was, however, determined on this occa- 
sion not to have recourse to stratagem. 
(Frontier Lands of the Christian and 
the Turk, vol. ii. p. 380.) 


after a great slaughter on both sides, the Lydians 
turned and fled. They were driven within their walls, 
and the Persians laid siege to Sardis. 

81. Thus the siege began. Meanwhile Croesus, 
thinking that th^ place would hold out no inconsider- 
able time, sent off* fresh heralds to his allies from the 
beleaguered town. His former messengers had been 
charged to bid them assemble at Sardis in the course of 
the fifth month ; they whom he now sent were to say 
that he was already besieged, and to beseech them to 
come to his aid with all possible speed. Among his 
other allies Croesus did not omit to send to Lacedaemon. 

82. It chanced, however, that the Spartans were 
themselves just at this time engaged in a quarrel with 
the Argives about a place called Thyrea,* which was 
witliin the limits of Argolis, but had been seized on by 
the Lacedaemonians. Indeed, the whole country west- 
ward, as far as Cape Malea, belonged once to the 
Argives, and not only that entire tract upon the main- 
land, but also Cythera, and the other islands.* Tlie 
Argives collected troops to resist the seizure of Thyrea, 
but before any battle was fought^ the two parties came 
to terms, and it was agreed that three hundred Spar- 
tans and three hundred Argives should meet and fight 
for the place, which should belong to the nation with 
whom the victory rested.® It was stipulated also that 

• Thyrea was the chief town of the 
district called Cynuria, the border 
territory between Laconia and Ar- 
golis (cf. lliucyd. V. 41). The Cy- 
nurians were a remnant of the ancient 
population of the Peloponnese before 
the Dorian conquest. They called 
themselves lonians, and claimed to be 
avT6xBov€s (vide infra, viii. 73). The 
convent of Luku seems to mark the 
site of the ancient town. Here on " a 
tabular hill covered with shnibs and 
small trees, and having a gentle de- 
scent towards the river of Lukuy^ are 
extensive remains of a considerable 
town (Leake's Morea, vol. ii. p. 487). 

The distance from the sea is greater 
by a good deal than in the time of 
Tliucydides (iv. 57), as the river has 
brought down large deix)sit8. 

* In the time of Pheidon the First, 
about B. c. 748. See MUller's Dorians, 
vol. i. p. 154. Compare the Fragment 
of Ephorus (15, ed. Didot), " avfiirooT' 
T€iv dc Koi AaiccdoAfiovtovr, ctrc d>oov^' 
a-avras rj 5ia r^v elprjinju €vrv;^tg, cTrc 
Koi avvfpyovt c£c(v vofiia-avras irpbs r6 
itaraXCcai t6v O€ido>i/a a<f>riprjfifVov 
aitTOVs rrfv nytfioviav rdv IIcXo- 
frovyrjo'ioiVf rjv iKilvoi npofierrivTO,^^ 

• Tliucydides con6rms this fact (v, 
41). The Argives, 130 years after- 


the other troops on each side should return home to their 
rcHpective countries, and not remain to witness the com- 
bat, as there waa danger, if the armies stayed, that either 
the one or the other, on seeing their countrymen 
undergoing defeat, might hasten to their assistance. 
Thi»fio terms being agreed on, the two armies marched 
off, leaving three hundred picked men on each side to 
fight for the territory. The battle began, and so equal 
wurt^ the combatants, that at the close of the day, when 
night put a stop to the fight, of the whole six hundred only 
three men remained alive, two Argives, Alcanor and 
(•hroniiuH, and a single Spartan, Othryadas. The two 
Argives, regarding themselves as the victors, hurried 
U^ Argoa, OtJiryadas, the Spartan, remained upon the 
fioKK ami, stripping the bodies of the Argives who 
had lUlKnu oarrieii their armour to the Spartan camp. 
No.\t dav the two armies returned to learn the result. 
At Iti^t thoY disputed* both parties claiming the victory, 
tht^ ono» Unnuisi^ thoy had the greater number of sur- 
vivoi>i; tho other* Ux'tmso their man remained on the 
lioM, and 8tvip(HHi the iKnlies of the slain, whereas 
I ho |NV\> luou of tho other side ran awav; but at last 
thov IVU fwu\ \v\mls to blows* and a battle was fought, 
in » \\\A\ Ih>iU |>^\rtio* suftVred great loss* but at the end 
I ho UuHnWu^onians g;um\l the victory.' Upon this 
tho Arjyiw^ who up tv^ that time had worn their hair 
h^nji\ ont it \^tY oKv!^\ luul made a law, to which they 
wttaoh\sl a \mu>4\\ binding thenisolvos never more to let 
thou hiur jiiN^Nv* and novor to allow their women to 
\v>^u j^\>^l>U nntil thoY ?J\ouU rvivver Thvrea. At the 
muoo tnno tho UuwWnuMuau;? made a law the very 

\v*^^>Uv ^MNV^NV»!VN^ ^W ^^^^^^^\ v*^' 4^ * ^''.uftKv^ *ssiprts that there was 

^<^\>^4\^ \s\ ^ ^^vm\ w^N^ ^V> >ikv<v ^D^"^ ^Aewoi hiki9>« Wat that an ^>peal 

^u^KUsn w^f^s H|v^>^\, <^MV,^■\\^^ %Sa!j^ ^^ii* :i;\*LV to ihe AmphictToiiSy who 

»m \\>N^' s\o^\xN' »,s\NN\s \A^*v^ ''W.;^* ^v<N>.\; ir, utv^r i>f Sparta (Moral. 

^\y\\S\ W ^vaJx^ y\N^^ ^^^K*' vw^ v^v^ x\. xv A>v KV U^ divs as his antho- 

i^,v.u ti\u% Usv >^v^^v^»s^ hX'^Vv^'* **•<» * vvci*:?. Oj^TVjVffiuaa, who had 


reverse of this, namely, to wear their hair long, though 
they had always before cut it close. Othryadas' 
himself, it is said, the sole survivor of the three hundred, 
prevented by a sense of shame from returning to Sparta 
after all his comrades had fallen, laid violent hands 
upon himself in Thyrea. 

83. Although the Spartans were engaged with these 
matters when the herald arrived from Sardis to entreat 
them to come to the assistance of the besieged king, yet, 
notwithstanding, they instantly set to work to aflFord him 
help. They had completed their preparations, and the 
ships were just ready to start, when a second message 
informed them that the place had already fallen, and 
that Croesus was a prisoner. Deeply grieved at his 
misfortune, the Spartans ceased their eflForts. 

84. The following is the way in which Sardis was 
taken. On the fourteenth day of the siege Cyrus bade 
some horsemen ride about his lines, and make proclama- 
tion to the whole army that he would give a reward to 
the man who should first mount the wall. After this 
he made an assault, but without success. His troops 
retired, but a certain Mardian, Hyroeades by name, re- 
solved to approach the citadel and attempt it at a place 
where no guards were ever set. On this side the rock 
was so precipitous, and the citadel (as it seemed) so 
impregnable, that no fear was entertained of its being 
carried in this place. Here was the only portion of the 
circuit round which their old king Meles • did not carry 

• Various tales were told of Othry- 
adas. According to one (Theseus 
ap. Stob. Flor. vii. 67) he was mor- 
tally wounded in the fight, upon 
which he hid himself imder some of 
the dead bodies till the two Argive 
survivors were gone ; he then crawled 
forth, erected a trophy, and wrote a 
superscription with his blood ; when 
be had done this, he fell dead (Suidas 
in voc. *OBpvairit), According to an- 
other story, he survived the occasion, 

and was afterwards slain by Pcrilaiis, 
son of Alcanor, one of the two Argives 
who escaped (Pausan. ii. xx. § 6). 
Othryadas was a favourite subject with 
the epigram writers. (See Brunck's 
Analecta, vol. i. pp. 130, 496 ; vol. ii. 
p. 2.) 

* Two Lydian kings of this name 
are mentioned by Nicolas of Damascus 
(Fr. 24), who probably follows Xan- 
thus. One is said to have been a 
tyrant, and to have been deposed by 



Book I. 

the lion which his leman bore to him. For when the 
Tehnessians had declared that if the lion were taken 
round the defences, Sardis would be impregnable, and 
Meles, in consequence, carried it round the rest of the 
fortress where the citadel seemed open to attack, he 
scorned to take it round this side, which he looked on 
as a sheer precipice, and therefore absolutely secure. 
It is on that side of the city which faces Mount Tmolus. 
Hyroeades, however, having the day before observed 
a Lydian soldier descend the rock after a helmet that 
had rolled down from the top, and having seen him 
pick it up and carry it back, thought over what he had 
witnessed, and formed his plan. He climbed the rock 
himself, and other Persians followed in his track, until 
a large number had mounted to the top. Thus was 
Sardis taken,^ and given up entirely to pillage. 

85. With respect to Croesus himself, this is what 
befell him at the taking of the town. He had a son, of 
whom I made mention above, a worthy youth, whose 
only defect was that he was deaf and dumb. In the 
days of his prosperity Croesus had done the utmost that 

a certain Moxus, who succeeded him 
on the throne. The other immediately 
preceded Myrsus, the father of Can- 
daules. He is noticed hy Eiisebius, 
who improperly makes him the im- 
mediate predecessor of Candaules 
(Euseb. Chron. Can., Part ii. p. 322). 
The former of these two kings is pro- 
bably the " old king Meles " of He- 

' Sardis was taken a second time 
in almost exactly the same way by 
Lagoras, one of the generals of An- 
tiochus the Great (Polyb. vii. 4-7). 

Three stories were current as to the 
mode in which the capture by Cyrus 
was effected. — 1. This of Herodotus, 
which Xenophon followed in its prin- 
cipal features (Cyrop. viii. ii. } 1-13). 
— 2. That of Ctcsiaa, reported also 
J|^|lYasnus (Strateg. vii. vi. § 10), 
^^^W^BjMde Cyrus take Sardis by the 
W ^K^GBbares, who suggested to 

¥ ^B|^ ^® inhabitants by plac- 

ing figures of men on long poles, and 
elevating them to the top of the walls 
(Persic. Exceri)t. § 4).— 3. The fol- 
lowing, given also by Polyajnus (ib. 
§ 2)— on what authority it is im- 
possible to say, possibly that of Xan- 
thus. Cyrus, it was said, assented to 
a trace, and drew off his army, but 
the night following he returned, and, 
finding the walls unguarded, scaled 
them with ladders. This last seems 
likely to have been the Lydian ver- 

Few people will hesitate to prefer 
the narrative of Herodotus to the 
other accounts. That of Ctesias is 
too puerile to deserve a mementos 
consideration. The other, which rests 
on no authority but that of Polyaenus, 
makes Cyrus guilty of a foul piece of 
treachery, which is completely at 
variance with the character borne by 
him alike in Oriental and in Grecian 


he could for him, and among other plans which he had 
devised, had sent to Delphi to consult the oracle on his 
behalf. The answer which he had received from the 
Pythoness ran thus : — 

** Lydian, wide-ruling monarch, thou wondrous simple Croesus, 
Wish not ever to hear in thy palace the voice thou hast prayed for, 
Utt'ring intelligent sounds. Far hettor thy son should he silent 1 
Ah I woe worth the day when thine ear shall first list to his accents." 

When the town was taken, one of the Persians was 
just going to kill Croesus, not knowing who he was. 
Croesus saw the man coming, but imder the pressure of 
his affliction, did not care to avoid the blow, not mind- 
ing whether or no he died beneath the stroke. Then 
this son of his, who was voiceless, beholding the Per- 
sian as he rushed towards Croesus, in the agony of his 
fear and grief burst into speech, and said, " Man, do 
not kill Croesus." This was the first time that he had 
ever spoken a word, but afterwards he retained the 
power of speech for the remainder of his life. 

86. Thus was Sardis taken by the Persians, and 
Croesus himself fell into their hands, after having 
reigned fourteen years, and been besieged in his capital 
fourteen days; thus too did Croesus fulfil the oracle, 
which said that he should destroy a mighty empire, — by 
destroying his own. Then the Persians who had made 
Croesus prisoner brought him before Cyrus. Now a 
vast pile had been raised by his orders, and Croesus, 
laden with fetters, was placed upon it, and with him 
twice seven of the sons of the Lydians. I know not 
whether Cyrus was minded to make an ofifering of the 
first-fruits to some god or other, or whether he had 
vowed a vow and was performing it, or whether, as 
may well be, he had heard that Croesus was a holy man, 
and so wished to see if any of the heavenly powers 
would appear to save him from being burnt alive. 
However it might be, Cyrus was thus engaged, and 
Croesus was already on the pile, when it entered his 


mind in the depth of his woe that there was a divine 
warning in the words which had come to him from the 
lips of Solon, " No one while he lives is happy/' When 
this thought smote him he fetched a long breath, and 
breaking his deep silence, groaned out aloud, thrice 
uttering the name of Solon. Cyrus caught the sounds, 
and bade the interpreters inquire of Croesus who it was 
he called on. They drew near and asked him, but he 
held his peace, and for a long time made no answer to 
their questionings, until at length, forced to say some- 
thing, he exclaimed, " One I would give much to see 
converse with every monarch." Not knowing what he 
meant by this reply, the interpreters begged him to 
explain himself; and as they pressed for an answer, 
and grew to be troublesome, he told them how, a long 
time before, Solon, an Athenian, had come and seen all 
his splendour, and made light of it ; and how whatever 
he had said to him had fallen out exactly as he fore- 
showed, although it was nothing that especially con- 
cerned him, but appUed to all mankind aUke, and most 
to those who seemed to themselves happy. Meanwhile, 
as he thus spoke, the pile was lighted, and the outer 
portion began to blaze. Then Cyrus, hearing from the 
interpreters what Croesus had said, relented, bethinking 
himself that he too was a man, and that it was a fellow- 
man, and one who had once been as blessed by fortune 
as himself, that he was burning alive ; afraid, moreover, 
of retribution, and fall of the thought that whatever 
is human is insecure. So he bade them quench the 
blazing fire as quickly as they could, and take down 
Croesus and the other Lydians, which they tried to do, 
but the flames were not to be mastered. 

87. Then, the Lydians say that Croesus, perceiving 
by the efiforts made to quench the fire that Cyrus had 
relented, and seeing also that all was in vain, and that 
the men could not get the fire under, called with a loud 
voice upon the god Apollo, and prayed him, if he had 


ever received at his hands any acceptable gift, to come 
to his aid, and deliver him from his present danger. 
As thus with tears he besought the god, suddenly, 
though up to that time the sky had been clear and 
the day without a breath of wind,* dark clouds 
gathered, and the storm burst over their heads with 
rain of such violence, that the flames were speedily 
extinguished. Cyrus, convinced by this that Croesus was 
a good man and a favourite of heaven, asked him after 
he was taken off the pile, " Who it was that had per- 
suaded him to lead an army into his country, and so 
become his foe rather than continue his friend ? " to 
which Croesus made answer as follows : " What I did, 
oh ! king, was to thy advantage and to my own loss. 
If there be blame, it rests with the god of the Greeks, 
who encouraged me to begin the war. No one is so 
foolish as to prefer to peace war, in which, instead of 
sons burying their fathers, fathers bury their sons. But 
the gods willed it so." ^ 

88. Thus did Crcesus speak. Cyrus then ordered his 
fetters to be taken off, and made him sit down near him- 
self, and paid him much respect, looking upon him, as 

■ The later romancers regarded this 
incident as over-marvellous, and soft- 
ened down the miracle considerably. 
See the fragment of Nicolaus Damas- 
cenns translated at the close of the 
Essay on the Chronology and History 
of Lydia. The words of the original 
are, ** YCiiuay d* trvxt Tt/v r^fiipav 
tKfivrjp t^ rjovSj ov fiffv vcrof yc. 

■ Moslem critics seem not to have 
been the first to object to this entire 
narrative, that the religion of the 
Persians did not allow the burning of 
human beings (vide infriL, iii. 16). 
The objection had evidently been 
made before the time of Nicolas of 
Damascus, who meets it indirectly in 
his narrative. The Persians (he gives 
us to understand) had for some time 
before this neglected the precepts of 
Zoroaster, and allowed his ordinances 

with respect to fire to fall into desue- 
tude. The miracle whereby Cnrsus 
was snatched from the flames remind- 
ed them of their ancient creed, and 
induced them to re-establish the whole 
system of Zoroaster. It may be 
doubted, however, whether the sys- 
tem of Zoroaster was at th)^ time any 
portion of the Persian religion (see 
the Critical Essays, Essay v.). 

Ctesias, in his account of the treat- 
ment of Cyrus, omittetl all mention of 
the pile and the fire. According to 
him, thunder and lightning were sent 
from heaven, and the chains of Crcesus 
miraculously struck off, after which 
Cynis treated him with kindness, as- 
signing him the city of Barfing (Barc^ 
of Justin, i. 7) for his residence. See 
the Persica of Ctesias (Excerpt. § 4). 


did also the courtiers, with a sort of wonder. Croesus, 
wrapped in thought, uttered no word. After a while, 
happening to turn and perceive the Persian soldiers 
engaged in plundering the town, he said to Cyrus, 
" May I now tell thee, oh ! king, what I have in my 
mind, or is silence best ? " Cyrus bade him speak 
his mind boldly. Then he put this question : " What 
is it, oh ! Cyrus, which those men yonder are doing so 
busily ? " " Plundering thy city," Cyrus answered, 
" and carrying oflF thy riches." " Not my city," re- 
joined the other, " nor my riches. They are not mine 
any more. It is thy wealth which they are pillaging.'* 

89. Cyrus, struck by what CrcBSUs had said, bade all 
the court to withdraw, and then asked Crcesus what he 
thought it best for him to do as regarded the plundering. 
Croesus answered, " Now that the gods have made me 
thy slave, oh ! Cyrus, it seems to me that it is my part, 
if I see anything to thy advantage, to show it to thee. 
Thy subjects, the Persians, are a poor people with a 
proud spirit. If then thou lettest them pillage and 
possess themselves of great wealth, I will tell thee what 
thou hast to expect at their hands. The man who gets 
the most, look to having him rebel against thee. Now 
then, if my words please thee, do thus, oh ! king : — Let 
some of thy body-guards be placed as sentinels at each 
of the city gates, and let them take their booty from 
the soldiers as they leave the town, and tell them that 
they do so because the tenths are due to Jupiter. So 
wilt thou escape the hatred they would feel if the 
plunder were taken away from them by force; and 
they, seeing that what is proposed is just, will do it 

90. Cyrus was beyond measure pleased with this 
advice, so excellent did it seem to him. He praised 
Croesus highly, and gave orders to his body-guard to do 
as he had suggested. Then, turning to Croesus, he said, 
" Oh ! Croesus, I see that thou art resolved both in 


speech and act to show thyself a virtuous prince : ask 
me, therefore, whatever thou wilt as a gift at this 
moment." Croesus replied, " Oh ! my lord, if thou wilt 
suffer me to send these fetters to the god of the Greeks, 
whom I once honoured above all other gods, and ask 
him if it is his wont to deceive his benefactors,— that 
will be the highest favour thou canst confer on me." 
Cyrus upon this inquired what charge he had to make 
against the god. Then Croesus gave him a full account 
of all his projects, and of the answers of the oracle, and 
of the offerings which he had sent, on which he dwelt 
especially, and told him how it was the encourage- 
ment given him by the oracle which had led him to 
make war upon Persia. All this he related, and at the 
end a^in besought permission to reproach the god 
with his behaviour. Cyrus answered with a laugh, 
"This I readily grant thee, and whatever else thou 
shalt at any time ask at my hands." Croesus, finding 
his request allowed, sent certain Lydians to Delphi, 
enjoining them to lay his fetters upon the threshold of 
the temple, and ask the god, " If he were not ashamed 
of having encouraged him, as the destined destroyer of 
the empire of Cyrus, to begin a war with Persia, of 
which such were tlie first-fruits ? " As tliey said this 
they were to point to the fetters ; and further they 
were to inquire, " if it was the wont of the Greek gods 
to be ungrateful ? " 

91. The Lydians went to Delphi and delivered their 
message, on which the Pythoness is said to have re- 
ph'ed — " It is not possible even for a god to escape the 
decree of destiny. Croesus has been punished for the 
sin of his fifth ancestor,* who, when he was one of the 
body-guard of the Heraclides, joined in a woman's fraud, 
and, slaying his master, wrongfully seized the throne. 
Apollo was anxious that the fall of Sardis should not 

• Vide supra, ch. 13. 



Book I. 

happen in the Kfetime of Croesus, but be delayed to his 
son's days ; he could not, however, persuade the Fates.* 
All that they were willing to allow he took and gave 
to Croesus. Let Croesus know that Apollo delayed the 
taking of Sardis three full years, and that he is thus a 
pri«>L thre* year. ^a. ^a. hi, destiny. More- 
over it was Apollo who saved him from the burning 
pile. Nor has CrtBsus any right to complain with 
respect to the oracular answer which he received. For 
when the god told him that, if he attacked the Persians, 
he would destroy a mighty empire, he ought^ if he had 
been wise, to have sent again and inquired which empire 
was meant, that of Cyrus or his own ; but if he neither 
understood what was said, nor took the trouble to seek 
for enlightenment, he has only himself to blame for the 
result. Besides, he had misunderstood the last answer 
which had been given him about the mule. Cyrus was 
that mule. For the parents of Cyrus were of different 
races, and of different conditions, — his mother a Median 
princess, daughter of King Astyages, and his father a 
Persian and a subject, who, though so far beneath her 
in all respects, had married his royal mistress." 

Such was the answer of the Pythoness. The Lydians 
returned to Sardis and communicated it to Croesus, who 
confessed, on hearing it, that the fault was his, not the 
god's. Such was the way in which Ionia was first 
conquered, and so was the empire of Croesus brought to 
a close. 

92. Besides the offerings which have been already 
mentioned, there are many others in various parts of 

• Mr. Grote remarks with great 
truth on this passage — " It is rarely 
that these supreme goddesses or hyi^er- 
goddesses — for the gods themselves 
must submit to them — ^are brought 
into such distinct light and action : 
usually they are kept in the dark, or 
are left to be understood as the un- 
stumbling-block in cases of ex- 

treme incomprehensibility; and it is 
difficult clearly to determine where 
the Greeks conceived sovereign power 
to reside, in resix?ct to the government 
of the world. But here the sovereignty 
of the MctrcPj and the subordinate 
agency of the gods^ are unequivocally 
set forth " (Hist, of Greece, vol. iv. p. 

Chap. 92. 



Greece presented by Croesus ; as at Thebes in Boeotia, 
where there is a golden tripod, dedicated by him to Isme- 
nian Apollo ;• at Ephesus, where the golden heifers, and 
most of the columns are his gift ; and at Delphi, in the 
temple of Pronaia,' where there is a huge shield in gold, 
which he gave. All these oflFerings were still in ex- 
istence in my day ; many others have perished : among 
them those which he dedicated at Branchidae in Milesia, 
equal in weight, as I am informed, and in all respects 
like to those at Delphi. The Delphian presents, and 
those sent to Ainphiaraiis, came from his own private 
property, being the first-fruits of the fortune which he 
inherited from his father; his other offerings came 
from the riches of an enemy, who, before he mounted 
the throne, headed a party against him, with the view 
of obtaining the crown of Lydia for Pantaleon. This 
Pantaleon was a son of Alyattes, but by a different 
mother from Croesus ; for the mother of Croesus was a 
Carian woman, but the mother of Pantaleon an Ionian. 
When, by the appointment of his father, Croesus obtained 
the kingly dignity,* he seized the man who had plotted 
against him, and broke him upon the wheel. His pro- 
perty, which he had previously devoted to the service 

• Tlie river Ism^nius washed the 
foot of the hill on which this temple 
stood (Paus. ix. 10, 2) ; hence the 
jihrase " Ismenian Apollo." Compare 
J^aUenian Minerva (supra, ch. 62). 

^ The temple of Minerva at Delphi 
stood in front of the great temple of 
Apollo. Hence the Delphian Minerva 
was called Minerva Pronaia {bia t6 
IT p^ Tov vaov l^pvaOaii as Harpo- 
cmtion says). Vide infra, viii. 37. 
Paiisanias mentions that the shield 
was no longer there in his day. It 
had been carried off by Philomfilus, 
the Phocian general in the Sacred War 
(Pans. X. viii. § 4). 

■ This has been supposed to mean 
that Alyattes associated Croesus with 
him in the government (see Wesseling 

and BiChr in loc. Also Clinton's 
F. H. vol. ii. p. 368). But there are 
no sufficient grounds for such an opin- 
ion. Association, oonmion enough in 
Egypt, was very rarely practised in 
the East until the time of the Sassa- 
nian princes ; and does not seem ever 
to obtain unless where the succession 
is doubtful. Nor would it have been 
likely that, during a joint-reign with 
his father, Croesus should have treated 
the partisan of his brother with such 
severity. Herodotus undoubtedly in- 
tends to speak of the nomination of 
Croesus by Alyattes as his successor 
upon the throne. The verb used is 
the same as that .which occurs below 
(ch. 208), where the nomination of 
Cambyses by Cyrus is mentioned. 


of the gods, Crcesus applied in the way mentioned 
above. This ia all I shall say about his oflferings. 

93. Lydia, unlike moat other countries, scarcely offers 
any wonders for the historian to describe, except the 
gold-dust which is washed down from the range of 
Tmolus. It has, however, one structure of enormous size, 
only inferior to the monuments of Egypt ' and Babylon. 
This is the tomb of Alyattes,' the father of Croesus, 

* The colossal t\ze of the monu- 
mente in Egypt U sufflciently known. 
They increased io aize as the power of 
Egypt advanced. The great importaace 
of proportion is at once felt in exainiQ- 
ing them ; for though the columns, as in 
the Great Hall of Kanuik, are so large 
— the centre avenue of twelve hein^ 
69 ft. 5 in. high, with the abacus and 
plinth, nnd the lateral ones (once 122 
m number) being 45 ft. 8 in. high — 
they have a pleasing aa well as a grand 
effect. Without that most important 
feature, proporlion (now best under- 
stood in Italy), they would be mon- 

strous snd disagreeable. The taste for 
colossal statues is often supposed to 
be peculiarly Egj-ptian ; but the 
GreeRS had some as large as, and 
even larger than, any in Egypt, that 
of Olympian Jove being 60 ft, high, 
and the Colodsus of Ithodes 105 ft. 
(See Flaiman, Lect. ii. p. 219.) 
I'ausanias (iii. 19) mentions one of 
Apollo 30 cubits (45 feet) high.— 
[G. W.l 

' The following account of the ex- 
ternal appearance of this monument, 
which still exists on the north bank 
of the Hermus, near the ruins of the 

ancient Sardis, is given by Mr. Hamil- 
ton (Asia Minor, vol. i. pp. 145-6) : — 
" One mile south of this spot we 
reaclietl the principal tumulu?, gene- 
illy designated as the tomb of Haly- 
It took us ^bout ten minutes 
jonnd its base, which would 
circumference of nearly hall 

rally desi 

a mile. Towards the north it consists 
of the natural rock, a white horizon- 
tally-stratified earthy limestone, cut 
away so as to ap|iear as part of the 
The upper portion is sand 

s have been ivorn by time 


the base of which is formed of immense blocks of stone, 
the rest being a vast mound of earth. It was raised 
by the joint labour of the tradesmen, handicraftsmen, 

Tomb of Alyatid. iiruuni 

and wcfttliei ill its iides, pmticulftrlj 
on that to the soiilli . we tolluniKl one 
of these as affording a Utter footing 
than the smooth giikaa, aa »e aaandcd 
to the summit. Here ne fuuud tlie 
remains of a foundation nearly imh- 
teen feet square, on the north of which 
was a Luge cireiilar stone, tui feel m 
diameter, with a flat luttom and a 
raised edge or lip, evidently placed 
there as an ornament on the apei ot 
the tumulua. Uerodi>tiis says that 
phalli were erected upon tlje sumniit 
of sumo of these tiimiili, of which this 
may be one; but Mr. Strickland tsny- 
poBes that a rude rcprt'sentation of the 
human face might l>e traced on its 
weather-beaten atirface. In conse- 
quence of the tTOund Bloi'ing lo llic 
Boutli, this tumulus appears much 
higher when viewed from the side of 
Sardis than from any other. It rises 
at an angle of alwut 2'Z^, and is a 
oona|>icuoua object on all aides." 

Recently the mound has Itcen more 
exactly measured by M, fipiegenthal, 

Prussian CoilbuI at Smyrna, wlio lias 
aUu carefully explored the inti^rior. 
His measurements stnkinf-ly (^ree 
with the ron>th estimate of Mr. Uo- 
niiltou. Ho gi^QS the average diameter 
of the mound ns about 'J jO mefrci, or 
281 jards, which produces a circum> 
fercnco of almost exactly half a mile. 
In the interior, into which he druvo 
a gnllery or tunnel, he was fortuiinto 
enough to discover a sepulchral cham- 
ber, comixiseil of large blocks of white 
marble, highly j^olished, situated al- 
most exactly in the centre of the 
tumulus. 'lliu chamber was somewhat 
more tlian 11 feet long, nearly 8 feet 
broad, and 7 feet high. It was empty, 
and coulained no sign of any inacri])- 
tion or sarco])lii4^is. The mound out- 
side tlie chamlier showed traces of 
many fonner excavations. It was 
picrci-d with galleries, and contained 
a great qmintity of bones, partly 
human, partly those of animals ; also 
a quiiutity of ashes, and abundant 
fragments of urns. No writing was 



Book I. 

and courteaans of Sardis, and had at the top five stone 
pillars, which remained to my day, with inscriptions cut 
on them,' showing how much of the work was done by 
each class of workpeople. It appeared on measurement 
that the portion of the courtesans was the largest. The 
daughters of the common people in Lydia, one and all, 
pursue this traflSc, wishing to collect money for their por- 
tions. They continue the practice till they marry ; and 
are wont to contract themselves in marriage. The 
tomb is six stades and two plethra in circumference; 
its breadth is thirteen plethra. Close to the tomb is a 
large lake, which the Lydians say is never dry.^ They 
call it the Lake Gygaea. 


discovered on any of these, or indeed 
in tlie whole mound, nor any fragment 
of metal with the exception of a nail, 
a relic of former explorers. Un- 
doubtedly the chamber had been rifled 
at a remote |)eriod, and the mound 
had been used in post-Lydian times 
as a place of general sepulture. Hence 
the remains of urns, and the human 
bones and ashes. ITie animal bones 
are more diflicult of explanation. 
There can l)e little doubt that the 
marble chamber was the actual rest- 
ing-place of the Lydian king. Its 
dimensions agree nearly with those 
of the sepulchral chamber of Cyrus. 
(See note to book i. ch. 214.) The 
tomb was probably plundered for the 
sake of the gold which it contained, 
either by the Greeks, or by some one 
of the many nations who have at 
difl*ereiit jKiriods held ]X>ssession of 
Asia Minor. It is worthy of remark 
that the internal construction of the 
mouiul was not found by M. Spie- 
genthal in any way to resemble that 
of the famous tomb of Tantalus, near 
Smyrna, explored by M. '1 exier. (Sec 
Texier's Asio Mineure, vol. ii. p. 252, 
et seq. ; and for M. Spiegenthars ac- 
count of his excavations, see the 
Monatslxiricht der Kiinigl. Preussisch. 
Academic der Wissenschaften zu Ber- 
lin, Dec. 1854, pp. 7(X)-702.) 

Besides the baiTow of Alyattes 
re aa* a vjist nmnber of ancient 

tumuli on the shores of the Gygasan 
lake. Three or four of these are 
scarcely inferior in size to that of Aly- 
attes (see Chandler's Tour in Asia 
Minor, ch. 78, p. 302). These may be 
the tombs of the other Lydian kinga. 

[The monument in question, with a 
stone basement, and a mound above, is 
very similar to the constructed tombs 
of Etruria, and to some in Greece, as 
that of Menecrates at Corfu, and others. 
The tomb of Agamenmon at Mycena) 
is also supposed by Canina to have 
been capped with a mound; and he 
is quite light in thinking it could not 
have been a * treasury ' (as it is called 
of Atreus), being outside the city. 
Indeed in the same locality are the 
remains of other similar monuments, 
not certainly so many treasuries, but 
tombs. The five cZpoi on that of A ly- 
att«8 may have been like those on 
the tomb of Aruns at Albano, mis- 
called * of the Horatii.' 

The statement about the Lydian wo- 
men is one of those for which Hero- 
dotus cannot escape censure. — G. W,] 

• ITiis is thought to be a very early 
mention of writing. Alyattes died 
B.C. 508 ; but even the Greeks had 
letters long l)efore that time. — fG.W.] 

*• This lake is still a remarkable 
feature in the scene. (Hamilton's 
Asia Minor, i. p. 145; Fellows, p. 
290.) It is mentioned by Homer 
(11. XX. 392). 

Chap. d4. 



94. The Lydians have very nearly the same customs 
as the Greeks, with the exception that these last do not 
bring up their girls in the same way. So far as we 
have any knowledge, they were the first nation to 
introduce the use of gold and silver coin,^ and the first 
who sold goods by retail. They claim also the inven- 
tion of all the games which are common to them with 
the Greeks. These they declare that they invented 
about the time when they colonised Tyrrhenia, an 
event of which they give the following account. In 
the days of Atys the son of Manes,* there was great 
scarcity through the whole land of Lydia. For some 
time the Lydians bore the affliction }>atiently, but find- 
ing that it did not pass away, they set to work to devise 
remedies for the evil. Various expedients were dis- 
covered by various persons ; dice, and huckle-bones, and 
ball,* and all such games were invented, except tables. 

■ This statement was made also by 
Xenoplianes of Coloplion (Pollux, ix. 
vf . § 83), and is re]H'ated by Eustatliius 
(a<l Dionys. Perie^ct. v. 840). Other 
writers ascribcti the invention to Phei- 
don I. king of Argos (Ktym. Magn. 
ad voc. ofifXiaKos ; Pollux, 1. s. c). 
According to IHutarch, Theseus coined 
money at Athens some centuries earlier 
(Thes. c. 2.5). 

It is prolMible tliat the Greeks de- 
rived their first knowledge of coined 
money from the Asiatics with whom 
tliey came into contact in Asia Minor, 
either Lydians or l*hrygian8 (a tradi- 
tion mentioned in Pollux, 1. s. c , made 
the latter fK?ople the inventors of coin- 
ing). Pheidon, wlio is also said to have 
intnxluced the ^lOginetan standard of 
weights from Asia, may have l>een 
tlie first to strike coins in Kuro|;ean 
Greece. The assertion of Plutarch 
cannot possibly be received. Sec Note 
H at the end of the vohmie. 

* A name resembling that of the 
King of Lydia, ManeSf is found in the 
early traditions of many jx?ople. In 
Egypt the first king was Mans, of 
whom Maneros, the reputed inventor 
of music, was sup^x^sed to have lieen 

the son. Crete had its Minos ; India 
its Manu ; Germany its first Man, 
Mannus : and traces of the name 
occur in other early liistories. Sec 
Plut. de Is. 8. 24, who mentions the 
Phrygian Manis. — [G. W. j 

* 'J'he ball was a very old game, and 
it was doubtless invente<l in Kg}'pt, as 
Plato says. It is mentionwl by Homer 
(Od. viii. 372), and it was known in 
Egypt long l)efore his time, in the 
twelfth dynasty, or about 2000 n.c, 
as were the nca-a-ol, V^^</>oi, htrunculiy 
calculi, or counters, use<l in a game 
resembling our draughts, with two 
sets of men, or " dogs," of different 
colours. They are also mentioned by 
Homer (Od. i. 107, and Plut. de Isid. 
s. 12, " n-crrcta*'). Athena^us (I)eipn. 
i. 10, p. Ill) rej)n)ves Herodotus for 
a.scribing the invention of games to 
the Lydians. The (Jreek board, afia(, 
or abacus, had five lines, sometimes 
twelve, like that of the Romans, 
whence dtiodeciin Kcripta was the 
name they gave to their ahras, or 
}K)ard, and the moves were .st»metimes 
decided bv dice. 

Greek dice, Kvfioi, tfS8era:,\veTc like 
our own, with six numl)ers — and 1, 

R 2 



Book J. 

the invention of which they do not claim as theirs. 
The plan adopted against the famine was to engage in 
games one day so entirely as not to feel any craving 
for food, and the next day to eat and abstain from 
games. In this way they passed eighteen years. Still 
the affliction continued and even became more grievous. 
So the king determined to divide the nation in half, and 
to make the two portions draw lots, the one to stay, the 
other to leave the land. He would continue to reign 
over those whose lot it should be to remain behind ; the 
emigrants should have his son Tyrrhenus for their 
leader. The lot was cast, and they who had to emigrate 
went down to Smyrna, and built themselves ships,* in 
which, after they had put on board all needful stores, 
they sailed away in search of new homes and better 

5 and 2, 4 and 3, being generally on 
the opposite sides. Instead of two, 
they threw three dice, whence rpis l{, 
" three sizes,*' and Kvfiot was the 
" ace." They were probably at first 
only numbered on four sides, whence 
the name, corrupted from riaaapa. 
This was the case with some astragali, 
the 2 and 5 being omittod (Jul. Poll. 
Onom. ix. 7), but these were usually 
without numbers, and were simi)ly 
the original knuckle-bones of sheep. 
They were also called " <a/i," and in 
playing were generally five (whence 
n-cvToXi^tfciv), a number, like the five 
lines on the old Greek abacus, taken 
from the fingers of the hand. Some- 
times astragali were made, of the 
same form as the bone, of stone, metal, 
ivory, or glass; and I have one of 
these last from Athens, which is only 
OJ in. long. The game is represented 
in a painting found at Herculaneum, 
and in sculi)ture ; and Pliny (xxxiv. 
8) mentions a famous group in bronze 
by Polycletus, of two naked boys, 
called the astragaUzoutes^ then in the 
Atrium of Titus, evidently the same 
subject represented in stone at the 
British Museum, the loser biting his 
coni|>aiiion's arm. 'J'hc games of tali 
and tessera' were chiefly confined to 
children, women, and old men (Cic. 

de Senect. 16, ed. Par.). That of 
odd and even, ** par et imparl was 
thought still more puerile, and is 
compared by Horace to riding on a 
stick, or " arundine longa " (Sat. ii. 
iii. 247). Beans, nuts, almondSy or 
coins were used in playing H ; and 
another game is mentioned by J. 
Pollux (ix. 7) of throwing coins or 
bones within a ring, or into a hole, 
called T/xJTra. Odd and even, and the 
modem Italian mora, were very an- 
cient Egyf)tian games. In the latter 
the Romans were said " micare di- 
git is^ Cicero, de Div. ii. says, " quid 
enim sors est? idem propemodum 
quod micare, quod talos jaoere, quod 
tcsseras ;" and in Off", iii., that cne 
with wJiom " in tetiebris miceSy" for 
an honest man, had become a proverb. 
— [G. W.] 

• Heeren understands this passage 
to assert that the Lydians obtained 
vessels from the Greeks of Smyrna, 
and builds uix)n it the conclusion that 
the Lydians were at no time a seafaring 
people. (Asiat. Kat. Vol. i. p. 106. 
E. T.) But firjxavaa-Bai has never 
the sense of procuring from another. 
Where it means procuring at all, it is 
always procuring by one's own skill 
and enterprise. (Cf. Sophocl. Phil. 
295. Xen. Cyrop. in. ii. § 15.) 



sustenance. After sailing past many countries they 
came to Umbria,* where they built cities for themselves, 
and fixed their residence. Their former name of 
Lydians they laid aside, and called themselves after the 
name of the king's son, who led the colony, Tyr- 

95. Thus far I have been engaged in showing how the 
Lydians were brought under tlw) Persian yoke. The 
course of my history now compels me to inquire who 
this Cyrus was by whom the Lydian empire was de- 
stroyed, and by what means the Persians had become 
the lords paramount of Asia. And herein I shall follow 
those Persian authorities whose object it appears to be 
not to magnify the exploits of Cyrus, but to relate the 
simple truth. I know besides three ways in which the 
story of Cyrus is told, all differing from my own 

The Assyrians had held the Empire of Upper Asia 
for the space of five hundred and twenty years,® when 
the Medes set the example of revolt from their authority. 
They took arms for the recovery of their freedom, and 
fought a battle with the Assyrians, in which they 
behaved with such gallantry as to shake off the yoke 
of servitude, and to become a free people. Upon their 
success the other nations also revolted and regained 
their independence, 

96. Thus the nations over that whole extent of 

' The Umbria of Herodotus, as 
Niebuhr observes (Hist, of Rome, vol. 
r. p. 142. E. T.) ** is of large and in- 
definite extent.'* It appears to include 
almost the whole of Northern Italy. 
It is from the region a1x)ve the 
Umbrians that the Alpis and the 
Carpis flow into the Danube (iv. 
49). ITiis would seem to assign to 
them the modern honihardo- Vene- 
tian kingdom, and to place them on 
the Adriatic. The arrival of the 
Tyrrhenians on their ahort»s extends 
them to the opposite coast, and makes 

Tuscany also a part of their c^^untry. 
Herodotus knows of no Italian nations 
exce])t the Tyrrhenians, the Umbrians, 
the Venetians (Heneti), theCEuotrians, 
and the Messapians. 

8 The whole story of the I^ydian 
colonization of Etruria is considered in 
the first P3ssay ai)pended to this lxx)k. 

• The 5*20 years of Herodotus in 
this place undoubtedly represent the 
(more exact) 526 of Berosus. (Fr. II.) 
The entire subject of Assyrian C'hro- 
nology is discussed in the Critical 
Essays, Essay vii. 


288 DEIOCES. Book I. 

country obtained the blessing of self-government, but 
tliey fell again under the sway of kings, in the manner 
which I will now relate. There was a certain Mede 
named Deioces, son of Phraortes, a man of much wisdom, 
who had conceived the desire of obtaining to himself 
the sovereign power. In furtherance of his ambition, 
therefore, he formed and carried into execution the 
following scheme. As the Medes at that time dwelt in 
scattered villages without any central authority, and 
lawlessness in consequence prevailed throughout the 
land, Deioces, who was already a man of mark in his 
own village,applied himself with greater zeal and earnest- 
ness than ever before to the practice of justice among his 
fellows. It was his conviction that justice and injustice 
are engaged in perpetual war with one another. He 
therefore began this course of conduct, and presently the 
men of his village, observing his integrity, chose him to 
be the arbiter of all their disputes. Bent on obtaihing 
the sovereign power, he showed himself an honest and 
an upright judge, and by these means gained such credit 
with his fellow-citizens as to attract the attention of 
tliose who lived in the surrounding villages. They had 
long been suifering from unjust and oppressive judg- 
ments', so that, when they heard of the singular up- 
rightness of Deioces, and of the equity of his decisions, 
they joyfully had recourse to him in the various quar- 
rels and suits that arose, until at last they came to put 
confidence in no one else. 

97. The number of complaints l^rought before him 
continually increasing, as people learnt more and more 
the fairness of his judgments, Deioces, feeling himself 
now all important, armounecd that he did not intend 
any longer to hear causes, and appeared no more in the 
seat in which he had been accustomed to sit and admi- 
nister justice. "It did not square with his interests," 
he said, " to spend the wliole day in regulating other 
men's affairs to the neglect of his own." Hereupon 

Chap. 07, 98. 



robbery and lawlessness broke out afresh, and prevailed 
through the country even more than heretofore ; where- 
fore the Medes assembled from all quarters, and held a 
consultation on the state of affairs. The speakers, as I 
think, were chiefly friends of Deioces. " We cannot 
possibly," they said, " go on living in this country if 
things continue as they now are ; let us therefore set a 
king over us, that so the land may be well governed, 
and we ourselves may be able to attend to our own 
affairs, and not be forced to quit our country on account 
of anarchy." The assembly was persuaded by these 
arguments, and resolved to appoint a king. 

98. It followed to determine who sliould be chosen 
to the office. When this debate began the claims of 
Deioces and his praises were at once in every mouth ; 
so that presently all agreed that he should be king. 
Upon this he required a palace to be built for him 
suitable to his rank, and a guard to be given him for 
his person. The Medes complied, and built him a 
strong and large palace,^ on a spot which he himself 
pointed out, and likewist^ gave him lil)erty to choose 
himself a body-guard from the whole nation.^ Thus 

* The royal ])al!ice at Aj;l»atai)a is 
said by Polybins to have Ix'cn 7 stades 
(more than four-fifths of a mile) in 
circnmference (x. xxvii. 0); but his 
description refers probably to tlie 
capital of Media Miujna, ratlier than 
to the (so-called) city of Deioces. 

* I cannot refrain from transcribing 
the excellent comment of Mr. Grote on 
this passage. He observes :— ** Of the 
Teal history of Deioces we cannot be 
said to know anything ; for the inter- 
esting narrative of IIero<lotus (>resents 
to us in all points Grecian society and 
ideas, not Oriental : it is like the dis- 
cussion which the historian ascribes 
to the seven Persian con 8j)ii*ators, ])re- 
vious to the accession of Darius, 
whether they shall adopt an oligarchi- 
cal, a democrat ical, <}X a monarchical 
fonn of government ; or it may l>e com- 
pared to the Cyropajdia of Xenojjhon, 

who Iwautifidly and elalMJratcly wcn'ks 
out an ideal which Herodotus exhibits 
in brief ontline. The story of Deioces 
describes what may he called the 
desjKJt's progress, first as candidate, 
and afterwards as fully established . . 
Deioces lx;gins like a clever (ireek 
among other Greeks, equal, free, and 
disorderly ; he is athirst for despotism 
from the beginning, and is forward in 
manifesting his rectitude and justice, 
*as beseems a candidate for c<^m- 
niand ;' he passes into a despot by the 
]iul)lic vote, and riKieives what to the 
Ci reeks was the great symbol and in- 
strument of such transition, a jiersonal 
b(Kly-guard ; he ends by organising 
l)oth the machinery and the etiquette 
of a dt*six)tism in the Oriental fashion, 
like the Cyrus of Xenojjhon ; only 
that l)oth these authors maintain the 
suiHjriority of thoir Grecian ideal over 



Book I. 

settled upon the throne, he further required them to 
build a single great city, and, disregarding the petty 
towns in which they had formerly dwelt, make the new 
capital the object of their chief attention. The Medes 
were again obedient, and built the city now called 
Agbatana,^ the walls of which are of great size and 

Oriental reality, by ascribing Iwth to 
Deioces and Cyrus a just, systematic, 
and laborious administration, such as 
their own experience did not present 
to them in Asia." (Vol. iii., pp. SOT- 
SOS. See also Note " of the latter 

» I have retained the form Agba- 
tana, given by Herodotus, in place of 
the more usual Ecbatana of other 
authors, as being nearer to the Persian 
original, which (in the inscriptions) is 
Hagmatana. (Behistun Inscrip. Col. 
II. Par. 13.) It is curious that the 
Greeks should have caught the ortho- 
graphy so nearly, and yet have been 
80 mistaken as to the accent of the 
word. There cannot be a doubt that 
the natives called the city Hagmatan, 
according to the analogy of the modem 
Isfahan, Teheran, Hamadan, Behis- 
tun, &c. Yet the Greeks said Agb4- 
tana, as is evident both from the 
quantity and the accent of the word 
It is Nvritten 'Ay^drava, not 'Ay/Sordva, 
and in the poets the last three syl- 
lables are short. Cf. ^sch. Pers. 16. 
Aristoph. Acharn. 64. 

[There is every reason to believe 
that the original form of the name 
Hellenised as ^hy^arava or *Eic/3drai/a 
was Hagmatan, and that it was of 
Arian etymology, having been first 
used by the Arian Medes. It would 
signify in the language of the country 
" the place of assemblage," being com- 
pounded of ham " with," and gama 
" to go." The Chalda^an form of 
Akhmatha, t<nDnt<, which occurs in 

Ezra (vi. 2), may thus be regarded as 
a corruption of the Arian name. It 
may further be of interest to note 
that there is no trace of such a name 
among the Median cities enumerated in 
the inscriptions of Sargon. — H. C. R.] 
Two descriptions of the town are 
worth comparing with that of Herodo- 

tus. In the second Fargard of the Ven- 
didad, Jemshid, it is said, "erected 
a Var or fortress, sufficiently large, 
and formed of squared blocks of stone ; 
he assembled in the place a vast popu- 
lation, and stocked the surrounding 
country with cattle for their use. He 
caused the water of the great fortress 
to flow forth abundantly. And within 
the Var, or fortress, he erected a lofty 
palace, encompassed with walls, and 
laid it out in many separate divisions, 
and there was no high place, either in 
front or rear, to command and overawe 
the fortress." (Zendavesta. Vendi- 
dad. Farg. ii.J 

llie other aescription is more exact 
in its details. ** Arphaxad," we are 
told in the book of Judith, " built in 
Ecbatana walls round about of stones 
hewn three cubits broad and six cubits 
long, and made the height of the wall 
seventy cubits, and the breadth 
thereof fifty cubits : and set the towers 
thereof upon the gates of it, an 
hundred cubits high, and the breadth 
thereof in the foundation sixty cubits : 
and he made the gates thereof, even 
gates that were raised to the height of 
seventy cubits, and the breadth of 
them was forty cubits, for the going 
forth of his armies, and for the setting 
in array of his footmen." (i. 2-4.) 

Col. Rawlinson long since published 
' his opinion that the site of the Agba- 
i tana ascribed to Deioces was at Takhii- 
: Solel'mdn, in Media Atropaten^. The 
I nature of the situation, and its geo- 
graphical position, are far more in 
' accordance with the notices of Agba- 
j tana contained in Herodotus, Qian 
\ those of Hamad4n, the Agbatana 
of later times. The country to the 
I north of Agbatana towards theEuxine, 
', Herodotus says, is very mountainous 
and covered with forests (\, 110). 
This is true and pertinent it said of 

Cbap. 98. PLAN OP THE CITT. 241 

strength, rising in circles one within the other. The 
plan of the place is, that each of the walls should out- 
top the one beyond it by the battlementa. The nature 
of the ground, which is a gentle hill, favours this 
arrangement in some degree, but it was mainly effected 
by art. The number of the circle is seven, the royal 
palace and the treasuries standing within the last. The 
circuit of the outer wall is very nearly the same with 
that of Athens. Of this wall the battlements are white,* 

Takhti-Solelmin, but either untnie 
or unmeaninf; if said of HamadiD, 
which is far removed from Uie Ruxine, 
and is iti Ihu more level part of the 
ancient Media. Again, the southern 
Ecbat4U)awa«sitiiatnloii the declivity 
of tho great mountain of Orontea (the 
modem Elwend) which could not 
possibly he called a voXuv^t, and 
which does notadmit of being fortified 


in the mode described by HerodatQB : 
whereas tlie conical hill of Takhti- 
Boleimtowith its remains of wallsand 
other ruins, very nearly corresponds to 
the description of ourauthor. (Seethe 
subjoined plan.) The whole subject is 
fully treated in apaper communicated 
by Colonel Rawlinson to the Geo^ira- 

Shical Society, and published in their 
oumai. Vol. x. Part i. Art. i. 

=-^-'*j; ,, 

[One of the most important ai^i- 
roeots in favour of the identificaliun 
of Takhti-Soleim&n with the ancient 
A^^batana, is the fact that Moses of 
Choren^, in s)K'atiing of the city 
which tben occupied tbe site in 
question, and which was nsnally 
named (Jaazac ahahanlan, calls it 

specilicHlly " the second Ectmtana, or 
the sovon-walleil city." Mos. Cbor. 
ii. 84.— II. C. R.] 

* " This is manifestly a fable of Sa- 
ba>an origin, the seven colours mcn- 
tioncil by llerodolus being pri'oiiicly 
those employed by the Drientols to 
denote the seven great heavenly 


of the next black, of the third scarlet, of the fourth blue, 
of the fifth orange ; all these are coloured with paint. 

bodies, ov tfii' iwveii cliiiiAles in uliicli 
tliey rcvdlvc. TIjiih Nizanii, in liia 
]»eni of tlie Heft IVilier, (lL>scri)>ra & 
80veii-l)odieii latacc, liuili by Ikbiiiu 
Qiir, nearly in the kuiic tunnx RS 
Mui-oilotuK. Tlie jnlacc iliilicnted lo 
Haltirn, lie says, was black — timt of 
Jujiiler orange, or more strictly snn- 
dal-u'oml colour (Sandali)— of Mbi'b, 
scarlct^iif tlio stm, pjl'li'ii — ofVcinis, 
wliilc—i)f Mercury, azure- luiil of tin' 
inoon, fsxixn — a liuc wliioli is aiijilitd 
by tlic (.trieutaU lo Bilver." (.loiininl 
of(Je*^r,tioc. Vol, X. I'lirl i, p. 127.) 
Hie ^rcat temiik- of Ni-lnicliai1iic>'.- 
zar at Itoreippa (the iiiodcni Itin-i- 
Niairt'ii) was a biiildint; in Bevcti 
platforms culuiir^l in a similar wiiy. 
Heroilottis hasdcmn^ted tliconlerof llie 

: coluurx, ubicli ought to l>c cither tlial 
tleiHindoiLt oil llie phiuetary diatanwa, 
" black, oranm;, Hcarlel, goI<l, wLite, 
blue, silver," as at llii; llirs, or " black , 
wliite, tiranjs', bliu>, Rcarlct, silvtr, 
gohl," ir the iirdtr of Ihi' Java dedi- 
catifi to ilii' plrtiicts were Inki-n. It 
may be siisjiecltd lliat Herodotus had 
r<ceived tlie luinibcrs in the latter 
iinler, aiiil aeeiilen tally Tevermii the 
placi'K of black a]id(vbili-,aud of scar- 

['Ihere is, lnnvi-ver, no cvidenci! to 
sliiiu- Ilint the KUkIck, or even the 
iiiibvUiiiiiins, were aiijiiaiiited with 
tbnt order of ihc plawlit which rcjiU- 
lated the mimi'inlHliirt of the daj-a of 



V origtMalcd with a 



The two last have their battlements coated respectively 
with silver and gold.* 

99. All these fortifications Deioces caused to be raised 
for himself and his own palace. The people were re- 
quired to build their dwellings outside the circuit of the 
walls. When the town was finished, he proceeded to 
arrange the ceremonial. He allowed no one to have 
direct access to the person of the king, but made all 
communication pass through the hands of messengers, 
and forbade the king to be seen by his subjects. He 
also made it an oflFence for any one whatsoever to huigh 
of spit in the royal presence. This ceremonial, of which 
he was the first inventor, Deioces established for his own 
security, fearing that his compeers, who were brought 

iieople who divided the day and night 
into 60 hours instead of 24 ; and, as far 
as we know at present, this system of 
tiorary division was peculiar in ancient 
times to the Hindoo calendar. The 
method by which the order is elimi- 
nate<l is simply as follows : — The 
planets in due succession from the 
Moon to Saturn were supposed to 
rule the hours of the day in a re- 
ctirring series of sevens, and thu day 
was named after the planet who hajv 
pened to Ixi the regent of the first hour. 
If we a»sit?n then the first hour of the 
first diiy to the Moon, we find that 
the Gist hour, which conmienced the 
second day, belonged to the 5th planet, 
or Mars; the 12ist hour to the 2nd, 
or Mercury ; the 181st to the 6th, or 
Jupiter ; the 241st to the 3rd, or 
Venus ; the 301 st to the 7th, or 
Saturn ; and the 361st to the 4th, or 
the Sun. The ]K»pular Ixilief (which 
first appears in l)ion Cassius) that 
the series in question refers to a 
horary division of 24 is incorrect ; for 
in that case, although the order is the 
same, the succession is inverted. r)ne 
thing indeed seems to be certain, that 
if the Chalda>ans were the inventors 
of the hebdomadal nomenclature, they 
must have borrowed their earliest 
astronomical sciencti from the same 
source which suj»plied the Hindoc»s ; 
for it could not have Ikh-u by accri- 

dent that a horary division of <>0 was 
adopted by both races. — H. 0. R.] 

* There is reason to believe that this 
account, though it may be greatly 
exaggerated, is not devoid of a foun* 
dation. The temple at Borsip])a (see 
the preceding note) apjx^ars to have 
had its fourth and seventh stages 
actually coated with gold and silver 
respectively. And it seems certain 
that there was often in Oriental towns 
a most lavish display of the two pre- 
cious metals. The sober Polybius 
relates that, at the southern Agl>a- 
taua, the Ciipital of Media Magna, the 
entire wotnlwork of the royal palace, 
including Ixjams, ceilings, and pillars, 
was covered with plates either of 
gold or silver, and that the whole 
building was roofed with silver tiles. 
The temple of Anaitis was adomed in 
a similar way. (rolyb. x. xxvii. 
§ 10-12.) Consetpiently, though Da- 
rius, when he retreated Ijcfore Alexan- 
der, carried oft' from Media gold and 
silver to the .amount of 70(X) talents 
(more than 1,700,0(XV.), and though 
the town was largely plundered by the 
soldiers of Alexander and of Sclcucus 
Nicator, still there remained tiles and 
plating enough to produce toAutiochus 
the (ireat on his (xieupation of the 
place a smn of verv nearlv4r)r)() talents, 
or 975,0(X>/. sterling ! (See Arrian. 
Kxp. Alex. iii. 11). Polyb. 1. s. c.) 


up together with him, and were of as good family as he, 
and no whit inferior to him in manly qualities, if they 
saw him frequently would be pained at the sight, and 
would therefore be likely to conspire against him ; 
whereas if they did not see him, they would think 
him quite a diflferent sort of being from themselves. 

100. After completing these arrangements, and 
firmly settling himself upon the throne, Deioces con- 
tinued to administer justice with the same strictness as 
before. Causes were stated in writing, and sent in to 
the king, who passed his judgment upon the contents, 
and transmitted his decisions to the parties concerned : 
besides which he had spies and eavesdroppers in all 
parts of his dominions, and if he heard of any act of 
oppression, he sent for the guilty party, and awarded 
him the punishment meet for his offence* 

101. Thus Deioces collected the Medes into a nation, 
and ruled over them alone. Now these are the tribes 
of which they consist : the Busae, the ParStaceni, the 
Struchates, the Arizanti, the Budii, and the Magi.* 

102. Having reigned three-and-fifty years, Deioces 
was at his death succeeded by his son Phraortes. This 
prince, not satisfied with a dominion which did not 
extend beyond the single nation of the Medes, began 
by attacking the Persians ; and marching an army 
into their country, brought them under the Median 
yoke before any other people. After this success, 
being now at the head of two nations, both of them 
powerful, he proceeded to conquer Asia, overrunning 
province .after province. At last he engaged in war 
with the Assyrians — those Assyrians, I mean, to whom 

« Mr. Grote speaks of the Median the numhcr of the Median tribes is 

tribes as coinciding in number with 
the fortified circles in the toum of 
Agbatana, and thence concludes that 
Herodotus conceived the seven circles 
as intended each for a distinct tribe 
(Hist, of Greece, vol. iii. p 306). But 

not seven but six ; and the circles 
are not in the town, but around the 
palace. Herodotus says expressly that 
the people dwelt outside the outermost 



Nineveh belonged/ who were formerly the lords of 
Asia. At present they stood alone by the revolt and 
desertion of their allies, yet still their internal condition 
was as flourishing as ever. Phraortes attacked them, 
but perished in the expedition with the greater part 
of his army, after having reigned over the Medes 
two-and-twenty years. 

103. On the death of Phraortes® his son Cyaxares 
ascended the throne. Of him it is reported that he was 
still more warlike than any of his ancestors, and that he 
was the first who gave organisation to an Asiatic army, 
dividing the troops into companies, and forming distinct 
bodies of the spearmen, the archers, and the cavalry, 
who before his time had been mingled in one mass, and 
confused together. He it was who fought against the 
Lydians on the occasion when the day was changed 
suddenly into night, and who brought under his do- 

^ Herodotus intends here to dis- 
tinguish the Assyrians of Assyria 
Proper from the Babylonians, whom 
he calls also Assyrians (i. 178, 188, 
&c.). Against the latter he means to 
say this expedition was not directed. 

* Phraortes has been thought by 
some to be the Arphaxad of the Book 
of Judith. A fanciful resemblance 
between the names, and the fact that 
Phraortes is the only Me<lian monarch 
said by any historian of repute to have 
been slain in battle with the Assy- 
rians, are the sole grounds for this 
identification. But the Book of Ju- 
dith is a pure historical romance, 
which one is surprised to find critical 
writers at the present day treating as 
serious. (See Clinton's F. H., vol. i. 
p. 275 ; Bosanquct's Fall of Nineveh, 
p. 16.) The following are a few of the 
anomalies which condemn it. 

The Jews are recentlv returned from 
the captivity (ch. iv. ver. 13, 18-19). 
Joacim (Joiakim) is the High Priest. 
He was the son of Jcshuah, and con- 
temi)orary with Ezra and Nehemiah 
(Neh. xii. 10-26), The date of the 
events narrated should therefore be 
about B.C. 450-30, in the reign of 

Artaxerxes Longimanus. Yet,l. Ni- 
neveh is standing, and is the ca[)ital 
of Nabuchodonosor's kingdom (i. 1). 
2. Assyria Is the great monarchy of 
the time (i. 7-10). 3. Persia is sub- 
ject to Assyria (i. 7). 4. Egypt is 
also subject (i. 9-10). Media, how- 
ever, is an indei^endent kingdom under 
Arphaxad, who as the builder of the 
walls of Ecbatana should be Deioces 
or Cyaxares. 

The book api)ear8 to be the work of a 
thoroughly Hellenized Jew, and could 
not therefore have been written Ixjfore 
the time of Alexander. It is a mere 
romance, and has been assigned witli 
much probability to the reign of Anti- 
oclius Epiphancs (Grotius in the Pre- 
face to his Annotations on the Book 
of Judith ; Works, vol. i. p. 578). It 
has many purely Greek ideas in it, as 
the mention of the Giants, the sons of 
the Titans (ch. xvi. ver. 7), and the 
crowning with a chaplet of olive (ch. 
XV. ver. 13). Probably also the notion 
of a demand for earth and water (ii. 7) 
came to the writer from his acquaint- 
ance with Greek history. At least 
there is no trace of its having been an 
Assvrian custom. 


minion the whole of Asia bevond the Halvs.* This 
prince, collecting together all the nations wliich owned 
his sway, marched against Nineveh, resolved to avenge 
his father, and cherishing a hope that he might succeed 
in taking the town. A battle was fought, in which 
the Assvrians suffered a defeat., and Cvaxares had 
already begun the siege of the place, when a numerous 
horde of Scyths, under their king Madyes,* son of 
Protothyes, burst into Asia in pursuit of the Cimme- 
rians wliom they had driven out of Europe, and entered 
the Median territorv. 

104. The distance from the Palus MsDotis to the river 
Phasis and the Colchians is thirty days' journey for a 
lightly-equipped traveller.* From Colchis to cross into 
Media does not take long — there is only a single inter- 
vening nation, the Saspirians,* passing whom you find 

• Vide supra, chapter 74. of the Caucasus, either by the well- 

* According: to Strabo, Madys, or i known Pylse Caucaseit between Tiflis 
MadycK, was a Cimmerian prince who \ and Mozdok, or by some imknown pass 
drove the Treres out of Asia (i. p. 91). \ west of that route, of still greater alti- 
llie true nature of the Scvthian war \ tude and difficulty. In either caae the 
of Cyaxares is considered in the Criti- ■ journey might well occupy 30 days, 
cal Essays, Essay iii. § 9. * The Saspiriaus are mentioned 

■ From the mouth of the Palus . again as lyin.ii north of Media (ch. 

Maeotis, or Sea of Azof, to the river 110), and as separating Media from 

/fiort (the ancient Phasis) is a distance Colchis (iv. 37). They are joined 

of about 270 geographical miles, or ' with the Mati^ni and the Alarodii in 

but little more than the distance the satrapies of Darius (iii 94), with 

(240 geog. miles) from the gulf of , tlie Alarodii and the Colchians in the 

Issus to the Euxine, which was called army of Xerxes (vii. 79). They ap- 

(ch. 72) " a journey of Jive days for a . pear to have occupied the upper val- 

lightly e<:[uipi)od traveller." We may leys of the Kur (Cyrus) and its tri- 

leam from this that Herodotus did butarv streams, or nearlv the modem 

not intend the day's journey for a i Russian province of Georgia. Ritter 

measure of length. He related the | (Erdkunde von Asien, vol. vi. p. 92) 

reports which had reached him. He , conjectures their identity with the 

was told that a man might cross from 
Issus to the Black 8ea in five days, 
wliich ])crha[)S was jiossible, and that 
it would take a month to reach the 
Sea of Azof from Colchis, which, con- 
sijloring the enormous difHculties of the 
route, is not improbable. It is question- 
able whether the coast line can ever 
ve l>een practicable at all. If not, 
communication must have been cir- 
, and have included the passage 

Saparda of the monuments. They are 
jverhaps the same as the later Iberi, 
with whom their name will connect etv- 
mologically, esix'cially if we consider 
Sajfiri to be the tnie form. (Sofrci/xH, 
SijSctpot, '^l^Tjpoi.) They probably be- 
longed, ethnically, to the same family 
as the ancient Armenians. (See the 
Critical Kssays, Essay xi., On the 
Ethnic Affinities of the Nations of 
Western Asia.) 



youraelf in Media. This however was not the road 
followed by the Scythians, who turned out of the 
straight course, and took the upper route, which is 
much longer, keeping the Caucasus upon their right.* 
The Scythians, having thus invaded Media, were 
opposed by the Medes, who gave them battle, but, 
being defeated, lost their empire. The Scythians 
became masters of Asia. 

105. After this they marched forward with the 
design of invading Egypt. When they had reached Par 
lestine, however, Psammetichus the Egyptian king** met 
them with gifts and prayers, and prevailed on them to 
advance no further. On thoir return, passing througli 
Ascalon, a city of Syria,® the greater part of them 
went their way without doing any damage ; but some 
few who lagged behind pillaged the temple of Celestial 

* Herodotus, clearly, conceives the 
Cimuicrians to have coasted the Hlack 
Sea, and appears to have thou<^ht tliat 
the Scythians entered Asia by the 
route of Da<j;hestdn, along the shores 
of the Caspian. He does not seem 
to liave been aware of the existence 
of the Pylaj Caucasca}. As the eastern 
sliore of the lUack Sea is certainly 
impracticable for an amiy, the Cini- 
merians, if they entered Asia by a 
track west of that said to have been 
followtKl by the Scythians, can only 
liave gaineil admittiinco by the Pyla\ 

It is alwavs to Ikj l)orne in mind 
that there are but two known routes 
})y which the Caucasus can b« crossed, 
that of Mozdok, traversed by Ker 
Porter in 1817, which is ke])t open by 
Russian military ])OSts, and still forms 
the regular line of communiciition be- 
tween Russia and the trans-C'aucasian 
provinces, and that of Uaghestan or 
Derbend along the west<3ni shores of 
the Caspian, which, according to l)e 
Hell, is " much more impracticable 
than that by Mozdok.'* (Travels, p. 
323, note. Eng. Tr.) This latter as- 
sertion may, however, l>e (piestioncd. 

* According to Horodotus, Psam- 
metichus was engaged for 29 years in 

the siege of Azdtus (Ashdod), ii. 157. 
This would account for his meeting 
the Scythians in Syria, 

[Justin (ii. 3) sj^eaks of an Egyptian 
king, Vexoris, who retired from before 
the Scythians, when Egypt was only 
saved by its marshes from invasion. 
The name Vexoris must l)e Bocchoris, 
though the ajra assigned to Vexoris 
does not agree with his. — G. W.] 

• Ascalon was one of the most an- 
cient cities of the Philistines (Judges 
i. IH, xiv. 19, &c.). According to 
Xantluis it was founded by a certain 
Ascalus, the general of a Lydian king 
(Fr. 23) ; but this is very improbable. 
It lay on the coast between Ashdo<l 
and Gaza, and was distant al)Out 40 
miles from Jenisalem (cf. Scyl. Peripl. 
]». 102; Strab. xvi. \k 1079; Plin., 
H. N., V. 13, &c.). By Strabo's time 
it had Ixjcome a place of small conse- 
quence. At the era of the Crusades 
it revived, but is now again little more 
than a village. It retains its ancient 
name almost unchanged. 

r Ascalon is first mentioned in 
cuiieifonii inscriptions of the time of 
Sennacherib, having been reduced b}' 
him in the fjxmous campaign of his 
third year.— H. C. K.] 


Venus.' I have inquired and find that the temple at 
Ascalon is tlie most ancient of all the temples to this 
goddess ; for the one in Cyprus, as the Cyprians them- 
selves admit, was built in imitation of it ; and that in 
Cythera was erected by the Phoenicians, who belong to 
this part of Syria. The Scythians who plundered the 
temple were punished by the goddess with the female 
sickness,® which still attaches to their posterity. They 
themselves confess that they are afflicted with the 
disease for this reason, and travellers who visit Scjrthia 
can see what sort of a disease it is. Those who suffer 
from it are called Enarees.* 

106. The dominion of the Scythians over Asia lasted 
eight-and-twenty years, during which time their in- 
solence and oppression spread ruin on every side. For 
besides the regular tribute, they exacted from the 
several nations additional imposts, which they fixed at 
pleasure ; and further, they scoured the country and 
plimdered every one of whatever they could. At lengtH 
Cyaxares and the Medes invited the greater part of 
them to a banquet, and made them drunk with wine, 
after which they were all massacred. The Medes then 
recovered their empire, and had the same extent of 
dominion as before. They took Nineveh — I will relate 

7 Herodotus probably intends the rotoOroi dvavSptf tj/' (De Aer. Aq. et 

Syrian goddess Atergatis or Derceto, Loc. eh. vi. § 108.) This impotency 

who was worshipixid at Ascalon and , HipjKXjratcs ascribes to venesection, 

elsewhere in Syria, under the form of but he mentions that the natives 

a mermaid, or figure half woman half believed it to be a judgment from 

fish {c(. Xiinth. Fr. 11, Plin. H. N., the gods. It is said that traces of 

V. 23, Strab. xvi. p. 1062, 1113,&c.). the disease are still found among 

Her temple at Ascalon is mentioned : the inhabitants of Southern liussia. 

by Diod. Sic. (ii. 4). She may be See Potock (Uistoire Primitive des 

identified with Astarte', and therefore Pen pies de la liussie, p. 175), and 

with the Venus of the (j reeks (cf. Keineggs (Allgem. to}K>graph. Be- 

Selden, De Diis Syris, S}iitagm. II. schreib. d. Caucas. 1. p. 269). 

ch. iii.) I • Bahr (in loc.) regards this word 

® This malady is thus described by as Greek, and connects it with ivaip^ 

Hippocrates, a younger contemj)orar>' and tvapa, giving it the sense of " viri- 

of Herodotus, who himself visited litate sjxjfiati;''^ but I agree with 

Scythia : — " tvvovxiai yivovraiy Koi Larcher and Blakesley that it is in all 

yvvaiKfia ipya^ovrai^ Ka\ a)f at yvvoiKfs probability Scythic. 

diaXcyoio-cu re ofJMLOis Kakfvvrai re oi ! 

Chap. 106, 107. 



how in another history' — and conquered all Assyria 
except the district of Babylonia. After this Cyaxares 
died, having reigned over the Medes, if we include the 
time of the Scjrthian rule, forty years. 

107. Astyages, the son of Cyaxares, succeeded to the 
throne. He had a daughter who was named Mandan^, 
concerning whom he had a wonderful dream. He 
dreamt that from her such a stream of water flowed 
forth as not only to fill his capital, but to flood the 
whole of Asia." This vision he laid before such of the 
Magi as had the gift of interpreting dreams, who ex- 
pounded its meaning to him in full, whereat he was 
greatly terrified. On this account, when his daughter 
was now of ripe age, he would not give her in marriage 
to any of the Medes who were of suitable rank, lest the 
dream should be accomplished, but he married her to a 
Persian of good family indeed,^ but of a quiet temper, 

* The question whether the 'Ao-o-v- 
puH X(Syo(, promised here, and again in 
chapter 184, were ever written or no, 
has long engaged the attention of the 
learned. Isaac Voss, Des Vignoles, 
Bouhier TRecherches, ch. i. p. 7), and 
Larcher (in loc.^, have maintained the 
affirmative; Bahr, Fabricius, Gerard 
Voss, Dahlmann, and Jager (Disput. 
Herodot. p. 15) the negative. The 
passage of Aristotle (Hist, An. VIII. 
xviii.) which affirms that Herodotus, 
in his accoimtof the siege of Nineveh, 
represented an eagle as drinking, 
would be decisive of the question if 
the reading were certain. But some 
MSS. have "'Ho-iodo^ ^yi^** toCto." 
There are, however, several objections 
to this reading. For, 1. Hesiod, ac- 
cording to the best authorities, died 
before the siege of Nineveh. 2. Neither 
he, nor any writer of his age, com- 
posed poems on historic^il sulnects. 
3. IW i8 no known work of Hesiod 
in which such a subject as the siege 
of Nineveh could well have been men- 
tioned. On the other hand, the siege 
of that city is exactly one of the 
events of which Herodotus hatl pro- 
mised to make mention in his Assy- 

VOL. I. 

rian annals. These are strong grounds 
for preferring the reading of 'Hp<$doroff 
to that of 'Ho-iodoff in the disputed 
passage. It is certainly remarKable 
that no other distinct citation from the 
work is to be found among the re- 
mains of antiquity, and Larcher ap- 
pears right in coucluding from this 
that the work perished early, pro- 
bably, however, not before the time 
of Cephalion (b.c. 120), who is said 
by Syncellus (i. p. 315, ed. Dindorf.) 
to have followed Hellanicus, Ctesias, 
and Herodotus in his Assyrian history. 
From Cephalion may have come tliose 
curious notices in John of Malala (ed. 
Dind. p. 26) concerning the Scythic 
character of the dress, language, and 
laws of the Parthians, which are ex- 
pressly ascribed by him to Herodotus, 
but do not appear in the work of 
Herodotus which has come down to us. 

' Nicolas of Damascus assigns this 
dream to Argostd, who, according to 
him, was the mother of Cyrus. 
(Fragm. Hist. Gr. III. p. 399, Fr. 66.) 

■ Cambyses, the father of Cyrus, 
appears to have been not only a man 
of good family, but of royal race — the 
hereditary monarch of his nation, 




Book I. 

whom he looked on as much inferior to a Mede of even 
middle condition. 

108. Thus Cambyses (for so was the Persian called) 
wedded Mandan^/ and took her to his home, after 
which, in the very first year, Astyages saw another 
vision. He fancied that a vine grew from the womb 
of his daughter, and overshadowed the whole of Asia. 
After this dream, which he submitted also to the in- 
terpreters, he sent to Persia and fetched away Mandan^, 
who was now with child and was not far from her time. 
On her arrival he set a watch over her, intending to 
destroy the child to which she should give birth ; for the 

wbicb, when it became subject to the 
Medeiy still retained its line of native 
kings, the descendants of Aduemenes 
(Hwiimanish). In the Bebiston In- 
scription (col. 1, par. 4) Darius carries 
up his genealogy to Achaemenes, and 
asserts that *' eight of his race had 
been kingy before himself — ^he was the 
ninth.** Cambyses, the father of 
Cyrus, Cyrus himself, and Cambyses 
the son of Cyrus, are probably in- 
cluded in the eio;ht. I'hus Xenophon 
(Cyrop. I. ii. 1) is right, for once, 
when he says, " Uarphs Xcycrcu o 
Kvpos y€P€<rBai Kafi0v<rov, n.€pa'&v 

[An inscription has been recently 
found upon a brick at Senkereh in 
lower Chaldasa, in which Cyrus the 
Great calls himself " the son of Cam- 
byses, the powerful king." This then 
is decisive as to the royalty of the 
line of Cyrus the Great, and is con- 
firmatory of the impression, derived 
from other evidence, that when Darius 
speaks of eight Achsemenian kiugs 
having preceded him, he alludes to 
tlie ancestry of Cyrus the Great, and 
not to his own immediate paternal 
Hue. See note to the word " Achie- 
menidae " in ch. 125.— H. C. R.] 

When ^schylus rPers. 765-785) 
makes Darius the sixth of his line, he 
counts from Cyaxares, the founder of 
tlie great monarchy co-extensive with 
Asia (€¥ Svhp iirda-Tfs 'Ao-idor 

orpo<f>ov rtrf€iy)^ to which Darius 
looeeded. The first king (M7- 


dot — 6 wpiros ^fi^ oTparmii) IB 
Cyaxares, the next (cVcurov woir) As- 
tyages, tbe third Cyrus, the fourth 
(Kvpov muf) Cambyses, the fifUi 
8merdis the Mage (Bfopdoc^— mv^vrnf 
irarpa). There is no discrepancy at 
all (as l£r. Grote appears to imagine^ 
vol. iv. p. 248) between the acoounts 
of i£schylus and Herodotus. 

* Whether there was really any 
connexion of blood between Cyrus 
and Astyages, or whether (as Ctesias 
asserted, Persic. Excerpt. §2) they 
were no way related to one another, 
will perhaps never be determined. 
That Astyages should marry his 
daughter to the tributary Persian 
king is in itself probable enough ; 
but the Medes would be likely to 
invent such a tale, even without 
any foundation for it, just as the 
Egyptians did with respect to Cam- 
byses their conqueror, who was, ac- 
cording to them, the son of Cyrus 
by Nitdtis, a daughter of Apries (vid. 
infr. iii. 2) ; or as both the Egyptians 
and the later Persians did with regard 
to Alexander, who was called bv the 
former the son of Nectanebns (Mos. 
Chor. ii. 12); and who is boldly 
claimed by the latter, in the Shah- 
Nameh, as the son of Darab, king of 
Persia, by a daughter of Failakua 
(^iXiinroff, ^iXuexoff, Failakus) king of 
Macedon. The vanity of the con- 
quered race is soothed by the belief 
that the conqueror is not altogedier a 

Chap. 108, 109. THE VISION. 261 

Magian interpreters had expounded the vision to fore- 
show that the offspring of his daughter would reign over 
Asia in his stead. To guard against this, Astyages, as 
soon as Cyrus was bom, sent for Harpagus, a man of 
his own house and the most faithful of the Medes, to 
whom he was wont to entrust all his affairs, and ad- 
dressed him thus—" Harpagus, I beseech thee neglect 
not the business with which I am about to charge thee ; 
neither betray thou the interests of thy lord for others* 
sake, lest thou bring destruction on thine own head at 
some future time. Take the child born of Mandan^ my 
daughter ; carry him with thee to thy home and slay 
him there. Then bury him as thou wilt." " Oh !. 
king," replied the other, " never in time past did 
Harpagus disoblige thee in anything, and be sure that 
through all future time he will be careful in nothing to 
offend. If therefore it be thy will that this thing be 
done, it is for me to serve thee with all diligence." 

109. When Harpagus had thus answered, the child 
was given into his hands, clothed in the garb of death, 
and he hastened weeping to his home. There on his 
arrival he found his wife, to whom he told all that Asty- 
ages had said. " What then," said she, " is it now in thy 
heart to do ? " " Not what Astyages requires," he an- 
swered ; " no, he may be madder and more frantic still 
than he is now, but I will not be the man to work his 
will, or lend a helping hand to such a murder as this. 
Many things forbid my slaying him. In the first place 
the boy is my own kith and kin ; and next Astyages is 
old, and has no son.* If then when he dies the crown 
should go to his daughter — that daughter whose child 
he now wishes to slay by my hand — what remains for 

• Xenophon (Cyrop. I. iv, § 20) 
gives Astyagefl a son, whom he calls 
Cyaxares. The inscriptions tend to 
confirm Herodotus; for when Fra- 
wartish (Phraortcs) claims the crown 
in right of his descent, it is not as 

son of Astyages, but as " descended 
from Cyaxares." He goes back to the 
founder of the monarchy, as if the 
lino of Astyages had become extinct. 
(See Behist. Ins. col. 2, i)ar. 6.) 

8 2 



Book I. 

me but danger of the fearfullest kind ? For my own 
safety, indeed, the child must die ; but some one belong- 
ing to Astyages must take his life, not I or mine." 

110. So saying he sent oflF a messenger to fetch a 
certain Mitradates,* one of the herdsmen of Astyages, 
whose pasturages he knew to be the fittest for his pur- 
pose, lying as they did among mountains infested with 
wild beaste. This man was married to one of the king's 
female |1|Y€|S, whose Median name was Spaco, which is 
in Grei^ Cyno, since in the Median tongue the word 
** Spaca " means a bitch.^ The mountains, on the skirts 
of which his cattle grazed, lie to the north of Agbatana, 
towards the Euxine. That part of Media which borders 
on the Saspirians is an elevated tract, very mountainous, 
and covered with forests, while the rest of the Median 
territory is entirely level ground. On the arrival of the 
herdsman, who came at the hasty summons, Harpagus 
said to him — "Astyages requires thee to take this 
child and lay him in the wildest part of the hills, where 
he will be sure to die speedily. And he bade me tell 
thee, that if thou dost not kill the boy, but anyhow 
allowest him to escape, he will put thee to the most 
painful of deaths. I myself am appointed to see the 
child exposed." 

' Gtesias seems to have called this 
person Atradates. There can be little 
doubt that the long narrative in Ni- 
colas of Damascus (Fragm. Hist. 
Grasc., vol. iii. p. 397-406) came from 
him. According to this, Cyrus was 
the son of a certain Atradates, a Mar- 
dian, whom poverty had driven to be- 
come a robber, and of Argost6 (qy. 
Artost^?), a woman who kept goats. 
lie took service under some of the 
menials employed about the palace of 
Astyages, and rose to be the king's 
cupbearer. By degrees he grew into 
such favour that Astyages made his 
father satrap of Persia, and entrusted 
all matters of importance to himself. 
Atradates may fairly be considered 

to be a mere Median synonym for the 
Persian Mitradates — the name signi- 
fying " given to the sun," and Aira 
or Adar (whence Atropat^ne) being 
equivalent in Median, as a title of 
that luminary (or of fire, which was 
the usual emblem of his worship) to 
the Persian Mitra or Mihr, — H. C. R.] 
' A root ** spak" or " svak" is com- 
mon for " dog'* in the Indo-European 
languages. It occurs in Sanscrit and 
Zend, in Russian under the form of 
'* sabac," and in some parts of modem 
Persia as *' aspaka.** The word seems 
to be an instance of onomatopoeia. 
(Compare the English "bow-wow** 
and " bark.") 


111. The herdsman on hearing this took the child 
in his arms, and went back the way he had come, 
till he reached the folds. There, providentially, his 
wife, who had been expecting daily to be put to bed, 
had just, during the absence of her husband, been 
delivered of a child. Both the herdsman and his wife 
were uneasy on each other's account, the former fearful 
because his wife was so near her time, the woman 
alarmed because it was a new thing for her husband to 
be sent for by Harpagus. When therefore he came 
into the house upon his return, his wife, seeing him 
arrive so unexpectedly, was the first to speak, and 
begg«l to know why Harpagu, had «nt f^ him in 
such a hurry. " Wife," said he, " when I got to the 
town I saw and heard such things as I would to heaven 
I had never seen — such things as I would to heaven 
had never happened to our masters. Every one was 
weeping in Harpagus's house. It quite frightened me, 
but I went in. The moment I stepped inside, what 
should I see but a baby lying on the floor, panting and 
whimpering, and all covered with gold, and wrapped in 
clothes of such beautiful colours ? Harpagus observed 
me, and directly ordered me to take the child in my 
arms and carry him off, and what was I to do with him, 
think you ? Why, to lay him in the mountains, where 
the wild beasts are most plentiful. And he told me it 
was the king himself that ordered it to be done, and he 
threatened me with dreadful things if I failed. So 
I took the child up in my arms, and carried him along. 
I thought it might be the son of one of the household 
slaves. I did wonder certainly to see the gold and the 
beautiftd baby-clothes, and 1 could not think why there 
was such a weeping in Harpagus's house. Well, very 
soon, as I came along, I got at the truth. They sent a 
servant with me to show me the way out of the town, 
and to leave the baby in my hands ; and he told me 
that the child's mother is the king's daughter Mandane^ 

264 THE HERDSMAira WIFE. Book I. 

and his father Cambyses, the son of Cyrus ; and that 
the king orders him to be killed ; and look, here the 
child is." 

112. With this the herdsman uncovered the infant, 
and showed him to his wife, who, when she saw him, and 
observed how fine a child and how beautiful he was, 
burst into tears, and clinging to the knees of her hus- 
band, besought him on no account to expose the babe ; 
to which he answered, that it was not possible for him 
to do otherwise, as Harpagus would be sure to send 
persons to see and report to him, and he was to suffer a 
most cruel death if he disobeyed. Failing thus in her 
first attempt to persuade her husband, the woman 
spoke a second time, saying, " If then there is no per- 
suading thee, and a child must needs be seen exposed 
upon the mountains, at least do thus. The child of 
which I have just been delivered is still-born ; take it 
and lay it on the hills, and let us bring up as our own 
the child of the daughter of Astyages. So shalt thou 
not be charged with unfaithfulness to thy lord, nor 
shall we have managed badly for ourselves. Our dead 
babe will have a royal funeral, and this living child 
wiU not be deprived of life." 

113. It seemed to the herdsman that this advice was 
the best under the circumstances. He therefore fol- 
lowed it without loss of time. The child which he 
had intended to put to death he gave over to his 
wife, and his own dead child he put in the cradle 
wherein he had carried the other, clothing it first in all 
the other's costly attire, and taking it in his arms he 
laid it in the wildest place of all the mountain-range. 
When the child had been three days exposed, leaving 
one of his helpers to watch the body, he started off for 
the city, and going straight to Harpagus' house, de- 
clared himself ready to show the corpse of the boy. 
Harpagus sent certain of his body-guard, on whom he 
h^tiie firmest reliance, to view the body for him, and, 

Chaf. 112-116. CYRUS MADE KING IN PLAY. 


satisfied with their seeing it, gave orders for the funeral. 
Thus was the herdsman's child buried, and the other 
child, who was afterwards known by the name of 
Cyrus, was taken by the herdsman's wife, and brought 
up under a diflferent name.* 

114, When the boy was in his tenth year, an acci- 
dent which I will now relate, caused it to be discovered 
who he was. He was at play one day in the village 
where the folds of the cattle were, along with the boys 
of his own age, in the street. The other boys who 
were playing with him chose the cowherd's son, as he 
was called, to be their king. He then proceeded to 
order them about — some he set to build him houses, 
others he made his guards, one of them was to be the 
king's eye, another had the office of carrying his mes- 
sages, all had some task or other. Among the boys 
there was one, the son of Artembares, a Mede of di»> 
tinction, who refused to do what Cyrus had set him. 
Cyrus told the other boys to take him into custody, and 
when his orders were obeyed, he chastised him most 
severely with the whip. The son of Artembares, as 
soon as he was let go, full of rage at treatment so little 
befitting his rank, hastened to the city and complained 
bitterly to his father of what had been done to him by 
Cyrus. He did not, of course, say " Cyrus," by which 
name the boy was not yet known, but called him the 
son of the king's cowherd. Artembares, in the heat of 
his passion, went to Astyages, accompanied by his son, 
and made complaint of the gross injury which had been 
done him. Pointing to the boy's shoulders, he ex- 
claimed, ** Thus oh ! king, has thy slave, the son of a 
cowherd, heaped insult upon us." 

115. At this sight and these words Astyages, wishing 
to avenge the son of Artembares for his father's sake, 

• Strabo (xv. p. 1034) says that 
the original name of Cyrus was Agra- 
dates, but th|8 would seem to be 

merely a corruption of Atradates, his 
faiher^^ name according to Nic. Da- 
masc. (See the last note but one.) 



sent for the cowherd and his boy. When they came 
together into his presence, fixing his eyes on Cyrus, 
Astyages said, " Hast thou then, the son of so mean a 
fellow as that, dared to behave thus rudely to the son 
of yonder noble, one of the first in my court ? ** " My 
lord," replied the boy, " I only treated him as he de- 
served. I was chosen king in play by the boys of our 
village, because they thought me the best for it. He 
himself was one of the boys who chose me. All the 
others did according to my orders ; but he refused, and 
made light of them, until at last he got his due reward. 
If for this I deserve to suffer punishment, here I am 
ready to submit to it." 

116. While the boy was yet speaking Astyages was 
struck with a suspicion who he was. He thought he 
saw something in the character of his face like his own, 
-and there was a nobleness about the answer he had 
made ; besides which his age seemed to tally with the 
time when his grandchild was exposed. Astonished at 
all this, Astyages could not speak for a while. At last, 
recovering himself with difficulty, and wishing to be 
quit of Artembares, that he might examine the herds- 
man alone, he said to the former, " I promise thee, 
Artembares, so to settle this business that neither 
thou nor thy son shall have any cause to complain." 
Artembares retired from his presence, and the attend- 
ants, at the bidding of the king, led Cyrus into an inner 
apartment. Astyages then being left alone with the 
herdsman, inquired of him where he had got the boy, 
and who had given him to him; to which he made 
answer that the lad was his own child, begotten by 
himself, and that the mother who bore him was still 
alive, and lived with him in his house. Astyages 
remarked that he was very ill-advised to bring himself 
into such great trouble, and at the same time signed to 
his body-guard to lay hold of him. Then the herdsman, 
as they were dragging him to the rack, began at the 


beginnisg and told tlie whole story exactly as it hap- 
pened, without concealing anything, ending with en 
treaties and prayers to the king to grant him for- 

117. Astyages, having got the truth of the matter 
from the herdsman, was very little further concerned 
about him, but with Harpagus he was exceedingly 
enraged. The guards were bidden to summon him into 
the presence, and on his appearance Astyages asked 
him, "By what death was it, Harpagus, that thou 
slewest the child of my daughter whom I gave into thy 
hands ? " Harpagus,- seeing the cowherd in the room, 
did not betake himself to lies, lest he should be confuted 
and proved false, but replied as follows ; — " Sire, when 
thou gavest the child into my hands I instantly con- 
sidered with myself how I could contrive to execute 
thy wishes, and yet, while guiltless of any unfaithful- 
ness towards thee, avoid imbruing my hands in blood 
which was in truth thy daughter's and thine own. And 
this was how I contrived it. I sent for this cowherd, 
and gave the child over to him, telling him that by the 
king's orders it was to be put to death. And in this I 
told no lie, for thou hadst so commanded. Moreover, 
when I gave him the child, I enjoined him to lay it 
somewhere in the wilds of the mountains, and to stay 
near and wateh till it was dead ; and I threatened him 
with all manner of punishment if he failed. A fterwards, 
when he had done according to all that I commanded 
him, and the child had died, I sent some of the most 
trustworthy of my eunuchs, who viewed the body for 
me, and then I had the child buried. This, sire, is the 
simple truth, and this is the death by which the child 

118. Thus Harpagus related the whole story in a 
plain, straightforward way; upon which Astyages, 
letting no sign escape him of the anger that he felt, 
began by repeating to him all that he had just heard 


from the cowherd, and then concluded with saying, 
"So the boy is alive, and it is best as it is. For 
the child's fate was a great sorrow to me, and the 
reproaches of my daughter went to my heart. Truly 
fortune has played us a good turn in this. Go thou 
home then, and send thy son to be with the new comer, 
and to-night, as I mean to sacrifice thank-offerings for 
the child's safety to the gods to whom such honour is 
due, I look to have thee a guest at the banquet." 

119. Harpagus, on hearing this, made obeisance, 
and went home rejoicing to find that his disobedience 
had turned out so fortunately, and that, instead of 
being punished, he was invited to a banquet given 
in honour of the happy occasion. The moment he 
reached home he called for his son, a youth of about 
thirteen, the only child of his parents, and bade 
him go to the palace, and do whatever Astyages 
should direct. Then, in the gladness of his heart, hp 
went to his wife and told her all that had happened. 
Astyages, meanwhile, took the son of Harpagus, and 
slew him, after which he cut him in pieces, and 
roasted some portions before the fire, and boiled 
others; and when all were duly prepared, he kept 
them ready for use. The hour for the banquet came, 
and Harpagus appeared, and with him the other 
guests, and all sat down to the feast. Astyages and 
the rest of the guests had joints of meat served up 
to them ; but on the table of Harpagus, nothing was 
placed except the flesh of his own son. This was all 
put before him, except the hands and feet and head, 
which were laid by themselves in a covered basket. 
When Harpagus seemed to have eaten his fill, Asty- 
ages called out to him to know how he had enjoyed the 
repast. On his reply that he had enjoyed it exces- 
sively, they whose business it was brought him the 
basket, in which were the hands and feet and head of 
his son, and bade him open it, and take out what he 


pleased. Harpagus aocordingly uncovered the basket, 
and saw within it the remains of his son. The sight, 
however, did not scare him, or rob him of his self- 
possession. Being asked by Astyages if he knew what 
beast's flesh it was that he had been eating, he answered 
that he knew very well, and that whatever the king did 
was agreeable. After this reply, he took with him such 
morsels of the flesh as were uneaten, and went home, 
intending, as I conceive, to collect the remains and 
bury them. 

120. Such was the mode in which Astyages punished 
Harpagus: afterwards, proceeding to consider what 
he should do with Cyrus, his grandchild, he sent for 
the Magi, who formerly interpreted his dream in the 
way which alarmed him so much, and asked them how 
they had expounded it. They answered, without vary- 
ing from what they had said before, that " the boy must 
needs be a king if he grew up, and did not die too 
soon.** Then Astyages addressed them thus : " The 
boy has escaped, and lives ; he has been brought up in 
the country, and the lads of the village where he lives 
have made him their king. All that kings commonly 
do he has done. He has had his guards, and his door- 
keepers, and his messengers, and all the other usual 
oflScers. Tell me, then, to what, think you, does all 
this tend?" The Magi answered, "If the boy sur- 
vives, and has ruled as a king without any craft or 
contrivance, in that case we bid thee cheer up, and feel 
no mpre alarm on his account. He will not reign a 
second time. For we have found even oracles some- 
times fulfilled in an unimportant way; and dreams, 
still oftener, have wondrously mean accomplishments.'* 
" It is what I myself most incline to think,*' Astyages 
rejoined; "the boy having been already king, the 
dream is out, and I have nothing more to fear from 
him. Nevertheless, take good heed and counsel me 
the best you can for the safety of my house and your 


own interests." " Truly/' said the Magi in reply, ** it 
very much concerns our interests that thy kingdom be 
firmly established ; for if it went to this boy it would 
pass into foreign hands, since he is a Persian : and 
then we Medes should lose our freedom, and be quite 
despised by the Persians, as being foreigners. But so 
long as thou, our fellow-countryman, art on the throne, 
all manner of honours are ours, and we are even not 
without some share in the government* Much reason 
therefore have we to forecast well for thee and for thy 
sovereignty. If then we saw any cause for present 
fear, be sure we would not keep it back from thee* 
But truly we are persuaded that the dream has had its 
accomplishment iifthis harmless way ; and so our own 
fears being at rest, we recommend thee to banish thine. 
As for the boy, our advice is, that thou send him away 
to Persia, to his father and mother.'* 

121. Astyages heard their answer with pleasure, 
and calling Cyrus into his presence, said to him, " My 
child, I was led to do thee a wrong by a dream which 
has come to nothing ; from that wrong thou wert 
saved by thy own good fortime. Gk> now with a light 
heart to Persia ; I will provide thy escort. Gk>, and 
when thou gettest to thy journey's end, thou wilt 
behold thy father and thy mother, quite other people 
from Mitradates the cowherd and his wife." 

122. With these words Astyages dismissed his grand- 
child. On his arrival at the house of Cambyses, he was 
received by his parents, who, when they learnt who he 
was, embraced him heartily, having always been con- 
vinced that he died almost as soon as he was bom. So 
they asked him by what means he had chanced to escape ; 
and he told them how that till lately he had known 
nothing at all about the matter, but had been mistaken 
— oh ! so widely ! — and how that he had learnt his his- 
tory by the way, as he came from Media. He had been 
quite sure that he was the son of the king's cowherd, but 

Chap. 121-123. 



on ihe road the king*s escort had told him all the truth ; 
and then he spoke of the cowherd's wife who had 
brought him up, and filled his whole talk with her 
praises ; in all that he had to tell them about himself, 
it was always Cyno— Cyno was everything. So it hap- 
pened that his parents, catching the name at his mouth, 
and wishing to persuade the Persians that there was 
a special providence in his preservation, spread the 
report that Cyrus, when he was exposed, was suckled 
by a bitch. This was the sole origin of the nunour.* 

123. Afterwards, when Cyrus grew to manhood, and 
became known as the bravest and most popular of all 
his compeers, Harpagus, who was bent on revenging 
himself upon Astyages, began to pay him court by 
gifts and messages. His own rank was too humble for 
him to hope to obtain vengeance without sdme foreign 
help. When therefore he saw Cyrus, whose wrongs 
were so similar to his own, growing up expressly (as it 
were) to be the avenger whom he needed, he set to 
work to procure his support and aid in the matter. 
He had already paved the way for his designs, by per- 
suading, severally, the great Median nobles, whom the 
harsh rule of their monarch had oflFended, that the best 
plan would be to put Cyrus at their head, and dethrone 
Astyages. These preparations made, Harpagus being 
now ready for revolt, was anxious to make known his 
wishes to Cyrus, who still lived in Persia ; but as the 
roads between Media and Persia were guarded, he had 

' Mr. Grote observes with reason 
that "the miraculous story is the 
older of the two," and that the com- 
mon-place version of it preferred by 
Herodotus is due to certain *' rational- 
ising Greeks or Persians** at a subse- 
quent period. In the same spirit he 
remarks, *' the ram which carried 
Phryxus and HelM across the Helles- 
pont is represented to us as having 
been in realily a man named Krius, 
who aided their flight — the winged 

horse which carried Bellerophon was 
a ship named Pegasus" (vol. iv. p. 
246, note). A somewhat different 
mode was found of rationalising the 
myth of Romulus and Remus, suckled, 
according to the old tradition, by a 
she-wolf, which may be seen in Livy 
(i. 4) : — " Sunt, qui Larentiam, vul- 
gato corpore, lupam inter pastores 
vocatam putent; indo locum fabulas 
et miraculo datum.'* 


to contrive a means of sending word secretly, which he 
did in the following way. He took a hare, and 
cutting open its helly without hurting the fur, he 
slipped in a letter containing what he wanted to say, 
and then carefully sewing up the paunch, he gave the 
hare to one of his most faithful slaves, disguisiiig him 
as a hunter with nets, and sent him off to Persia to 
take the game as a present to Cyrus, bidding him tell 
Cyrus, by word of mouth, to paunch the animal him- 
self, and let no one be present at the time. 

124. All was done as he wished, and Cyrus, on cut- 
ting the hare open, found the letter inside, and read as 
follows : — ^ Son of Cambyses, the gods assuredly watch 
over thee, or never wouldst thou have passed through 
thy many wonderful adventures — now is the time when 
thou mayebt avenge thyself upon Astyages, thy mur- 
derer. He willed thy death, remember ; to the gods 
and to me thou owest that thou art still alive. I think 
thou art not ignorant of what he did to thee, nor of what 
I suffered at his hands because I committed thee to the 
<x)wherd, and did not put thee to death. Listen now to 
me, and obey my words, and all the empire of Astyages 
shall be thine. Raise the standard of revolt in Persia, 
and then march straight on Media. Whether Astyages 
appoint me to command his forces against thee, or 
whether he appoint any other of the princes of the 
Medes, all will go as thou couldst wish. They will be 
the first to fall away from him, and joining thy side, 
exert themselves to overturn his power. Be sure that 
on our part all is ready ; wherefore do thou thy part, 
and that speedily." 

125. Cyrus, on receiving the tidings contained in 
this letter, set himself to consider how he might best 
persuade the Persians to revolt. After much thought, 
he hit on the following as the most expedient coiurse : 

wrote what he thought proper upon a roll, and then 
g an assembly of the Persians, he unfolded the 

Chap. 124, 125. 



roll, and read out of it that Astyages appointed him 
their general. "And now," said he, ** since it is so, I 
command you to go and bring each man his reaping- 
hook." With these words he dismissed the assembly. 

Now the Persian nation is made up of many tribes.* 
Those which Cyrus assembled and persuaded to revolt 
from the Medes, were the principal ones on which all 
the others are dependent.^ These are the Pasargadas,' 

' Aooording to Xenophon the num- 
1)er of the Persian tribes was twelve 
(Cyrop. L ii. § 51 according to He- 
rodotus, ten. Tne authority of the 
former, always weak except with 
respect to his own times, is here ren- 
dered still more doubtful by the fre- 
quency with which this same number 
twelve occurs in his narrative. Not 
only are the tribes twelve, and the su- 
perintendents of the education twelve, 
but the whole number of the nation is 
twelve myriads (i. ii. § 15), Cyrus 
IS subject to the Persian discipline for 
twelve years (i. iii. { 1), &c. &c. 

' The distinction of superior and 
inferior tribes is common among 
nomadic and semi-nomadic nations. 
The Golden Horde of the Calmucks 
is well known. Many Arab tribes 
are looked down upon with contempt 
by the Bedoweens. Among the Mon- 
gols the dominion of superior over 
mferior tribes is said to be carried to 
the extent of a very cruel tyranny 
(Pallas. MongoL Yolker, vol. i. p. 
185). The Scythians in the time of 
Herodotus were divided, very nearly 
as the Persians, into three grades, 
Royal Scythians, Husbandmen, and 
Nomads. (Vid. inf. iv. 17-20.) 

' Pasargadas was not only the name 
of the principal Persian tribe, but also 
of the ancient capital of the country. 
(Strab. XV. p. 1035.) Stephen of 
byzantium (in voc. Uaaaofr/a^i) 
translates the word " the encamp- 
ment of the Persians.*' If we accept 
this meaning, we must regard Pasar- 
gadffi as a corruption of Parsagadae, a 
form whrch is preserved in Quintus 
Curtius (Y. vi. § 10, X. i. } 22.). 

According to Anaximenes (ap. 
Stepli. Byz. I. s. c.) Cyrus founded 

Pasargadaa, but Ctesias appears to 
have represented it as already a place 
of importance at the time when Cyrus 
revolted. (See the uewly-discovered 
fragment of Nic. Damasc. in the 
Fragm. Hist. Grsec. vol. iii. pp. 
405-6, ed. Didot.) There seems to 
be no doubt that it was the Persian 
capital of both Cyrus and Cambyses, 
Persepolis being founded by Darius. 
Cyrus was himself buried there, as 
we learn from Ctesias (Pers. £xc. 
f 9), Arrian (vi. 29), and Strabo ^xv. 
p. 1035). It was afterwards the place 
where the kings were inaugurated 
(Plutareh, Artax. c. 3), and was placed 
under the special protection of the 
Magi. Hence Pliny spoke of it as a 
castle occupied by the Magi ("inde 
ad orientem Magi obtinent Pasarga- 
das castellum,'* vi. 26). 

It seems tolerably certain that the 
modem Murg-avb is the site of the 
ancient Pasargadae. Its position with 
respect to Persepolis, its strong situ- 
ation among the mountains, its re- 
mains bearing the marks of high an- 
tiquity, and, above all, the name and 
tomb of Cynis, which have been dis- 
covered among the ruins, mark it for 
the capital of that monarch beyond 
all reasonable doubt. 1'ho best ac- 
count of the present condition of the 
ruins will be found in Ker Porter's 
Travels (vol. i. pp. 485-510). Murg- 
aub is the only place in Persia at which 
inscriptions of the age of Cyrus have 
been discovered. The ruined buildings 
bear the following legend : — *' Adam 
Kurush, khshiyathiya, Hakhamani- 
shiya** — "I [am] Cyrus the king, 
the Achaemenian.*' For an account 
of the tomb of Cyras, vide infra, note 
on ch. 214. 



Book I. 

the Maraphians/ and the Maspians^ of whom the 
Pasargadse are the noblest. The Achaemenidae,' from 

* Only one instance is found of a 
Haraphian holding an important office. 
Auiasis, the commander whom Ary- 
andes sent to the relief of Pheretima, 
was Syrip Mapaffnos (iv. 167). In 
general the commanders are Achae- 
menians, now and then they are called 
simply Pasargadse. 

* The Achffimenidffi were the royal 
family of Persia, the descendants of 
Acbiemenes (Hakhdmanish), who was 

?robably the leader under whom the 
'ersians first settled in the country 
which has ever since borne their 
name. This Achtemenes is mentioned 
by Herodotus as the founder of the 
kingdom (iii. 75 ; vii. 11). His name 
appears in the fiehistun inscription 
twice (col. I, par. 2, and Detached 
Inscript. A.) In each case it is as- 
serted that the name Achaemenian 
attached to the dynasty on account 
of the descent from Achsmenes. 
'* Awahya r&diya wayam Hakh^ma- 
nishiya th&tyamahya " — '* E& ratione 
nos Achaemenenses appellamur.** In 
all the inscriptions the kings of Persia 
glory in the title. 

[ITie commencement of the Behis- 
tun inscription, rightly understood, is 
of great importance for the illustration 
of the history of the Ach<Tmenians. 
Darius in the first paragraph styles 
himself an Achaemenian: in the second, 
he shows his right to this title by 
tracing his, paternal ancestry to Achas- 
menes : in the third, be goes on to 
glorify the Achaemenian family by de- 
scribing the antiquity of their descent, 
and the fact of their having for a long 
time past furnished kings to the Per- 
sian nation : and in the fourth para- 
graph he further explains that eight 
of the Achasmenian family have thus 
already filled the throne of Persia, and 
that be is the ninth of the line teho is 
called to rule over bis countrymen. In 
this statement, however, Darius seems 
to put forward no claim whatever to in- 
clude his immediate ancestry among 
the Persian kings ; they are merely 
enumerated in order to establish his 
claim to Achaemeniaadesoeoi) and are 

in no case distinguished by the title of 
khthdyathiya^ or " king." So clear 
indeed and fixed was the tradition of 
the royal family in this respect, that 
both Artaxerxes Mnemon and Arta- 
xerxes Ochus (see Journal of the 
Asiat. Soc., vol. x. p. 342, and vol. xv. 
p. 159) may be observed, in tracing 
their pedigree, to qualify each ancestor 
by the title of king up to Darius^ but 
from that time to drop the royal title, 
and to speak of Hystaspes and Arsamcs 
as mere private individuals. It will be 
impossible, at the same time, to make 
up from Grecian history the list of 
nme kings, extending, according to 
the inscription, from Achaemenes to 
Darius, without including Bardius or 
the true Smerdis, and be appears to 
have been slain before his brother left 
for Egypt. The other names will 
undoubtedly be Cambyses, Cyrus the 
Great, Cambyses his father, Cvrus 
(Herod, i. Ill), Cambyses (whose 
sister Atossa married Phamaces of 
Cappadocia, Phot. Bibl. p. 1158), 
Teispes (Herod, vii. 11), and Achae- 
menes. In preference, perhaps, to 
inserting Bardius at the commence- 
ment of this list, I would suggest that 
the ninth king among the predecessors 
of Darius may have been the father 
of Achaemenes, named by the Greeks 
iEgeus, or Perses, or sometimes Perseus, 
being thus confounded with the epo- 
nymous hero of the Persian race. 
The name Achsemcnes, although oc- 
cupying 80 prominent a position in 
authentic Persian history, is unknown 
either in the antique traditions of the 
Vendidad, or in the romantic legends of 
the so-called Kaianian dynasty, pro- 
bably because Achaemenes lived after 
the compilation of the Vendidad, but 
so long before the invention of the ro- 
mances that his name was forgotten. 
The name signifies " friendly ** or 
" possessing friends,*' being formed of 
a Persian word, hakhd^ corresponding 

to the Sanscrit ^fffff sakM, and an 

attributive affix equivalent to the 
Sanscrit mat^ which forms the nomi- 


which spring all the Persian kings, is one of their 
elans. The rest of the Persian tribes are the follow- 
ing : • the Panthialoeans, the Derusiaeans, the Germa- 
nians, who are engaged in husbandry ; the Daans, the 
Mardians, the Dropicans, and the Sagartians, who are 

126. When, in obedience to the orders which they 
had received, the Persians came with their reaping- 
hooks, Cyrus led them to a tract of ground, about 
eighteen or twenty furlongs each way, covered with 
thorns, and ordered them to clear it before the day was 
out. They accomplished their task, upon which he 
issued a second order to them, to take the bath the day 
following, and again come to him. Meanwhile he col- 
lected together all his father's flocks, both sheep and 
goats, and all his oxen, and slaughtered them, and 
made ready to give an entertainment to the entire 
Persian army. Wine, too, and bread of the choicest 
kinds were prepared for the occasion. When the 
morrow came, and the Persians appeared, he bade them 
recline upon the grass, and enjoy themselves. After 
the feast was over, he requested them to tell him 
" which they liked best, to-day's work, or yesterday's ?" 
They answered that " the contrast was indeed strong : 
yesterday brought them nothing but what was bad, 

native in man, M. Oppert thinks that 
we have another trace of the Persian 
word haJehd in the ^Kpraxalrii of 
Herodotus (vii. 63). See the Journal 
Asiatique, 4"* s^rie, torn. xvii. p. 268. 
— H. C. R.] 

AchflBmenes continued to be used 
as a family name in after times. It 
was borne by one of the sons of Da- 
rius Hystaspes (infra, vii. 7). 

• See Essay iv., '* On the Ten 
Tribes of the Persians." 

' Nomadic hordes must always be 
an import-mt element in the popu- 
lation of Persia. Large portions of 
the country are only habitable at cer- 

VOL. I. 

tain seasons of the year. Recently 
the wandering tribes (llyats) have 
been calculated at one-half (Kinneir, 
Persian Empire, p. 44), or at the least 
one-fourth (Morier, Journal of Geo- 
graph. Soc, vol. vii. p. 230) of the 
entire population. They are of great 
importance in a military point of view. 
Of the four nomadic tribes mentioned 
by llero<lotus the Sagartians appear to 
have been the most powerful. They 
were contained in the 14th Satrapy 
(iii. 93), and furnished 8000 horsemen 
to the army of Xerxes (vii. 85), who 
were armed with daggers and lassoes. 


to-day everything that was good." Cyrus instantly 
seized on their reply, and laid bare his purpose in these 
words : " Ye men of Persia, thus do matters stand 
with you. If you choose to hearken to my words, you 
may enjoy these and ten thousand similar delights, and 
never condescend to any slavish toil ; but if you will 
not hearken, prepare yourselves for imnimibered toils 
as hard as yesteixiay's. Now therefore follow my bid- 
ding, and be free. For myself I feel that I am destined 
by Providence to undertake your liberation ; and you, I 
am sure, are no whit inferior to the Medes in anything, 
least of all in bravery. Revolt, therefore, from Asty- 
ages, without a moment's delay." 

127. The Persians, who had long been impatient of 
the Median dominion, now that they had found a 
leader, were delighted to shake off the yoke. Mean- 
while Astyagvs, informed of the doings of Cyrus, sent 
a messenger to summon him to his presence, Cyrus 
replied^ ** Tell AstMiges that I shall appear in his pre- 
sence sooner than he will like.*' Astyages, when he 
receiveii this message, instantly armed all his subjects, 
and, as if God had deprived him of his senses appointed 
Harpagus to l>e their generaU forgetting how greatlv he 
haii injui^i him* So when the two armies met and 
engaged, only a few of tlie Medes, who were not 
in the secrvt, fought ; others deserted openlv to the 
Persians : while the greater number counterfeited fear,, 
aini tied, 

12S, Astva<rt?s. on leaminff the shameful fliirht and 
disper^icai of his army, broke out into threats again^ 
Cvrus, savinsr* "*Cvrus shall nevenheles^ have no 
Tva^Mt to rejfiMcx> :** and directly he seized the Ma<nan 
interpreters who had persuaded him to allow Cvros to 
escajx\ and im}x»led them : after which, he ajn>ed all 
the Medes who had remairjeJ in tlx^ ciiy, ly.ih vctcnc 
and oJd: and leading them against the Pei^^aii^ 
fousrht a banle. in wluidj he was imerlv de&atei 



army being destroyed, and he himself falling into the 
enemy's hands.® 

129. Harpagus then, seeing him a prisoner, came 
near, and exulted over him with many gibes and jeers. 
Among other cutting speeches which he made, he 
alluded to the supper where the flesh of his son was 
given him to eat, and asked Astyages to answer him 
now, how he enjoyed being a slave instead of a king ? 
Astyages looked in his face, and asked him in return, 
wh/he claimed a. hi. own .he achievement of Cyru.? 
" Because," said Harpagus, " it was my letter which made 
him revolt, and so I am entitled to all the credit of the 
enterprise." Then Astyages declared, that " in that 
case he was at once the silliest and the most unjust of 
men : the silliest, if when it was in his power to put the 
crown on his own head, as it must assuredly have been, 
if the revolt was entirely his doing, he had placed it on 
the head of another ; the most unjust, if on account of 
that supper he had brought slavery on the Medes. 
For, supposing that he was obliged to invest another 

■ According to the fragment of 
Nicolas, of Damascus to which refer- 
ence has rc|)eatedly been made, as in 
all probability containing the account 
which Ctesias gave of the conquest of 
Astyages by Cynis, not fewer than 
five great battles were fought, all in 
Persia. In the first and second of 
these Astyages was victorious. In the 
third, which took place near Pasar- 
gadae, the national stronghold, where 
all the women and children of the Per- 
sians had been sent, they succeeded 
in repulsing their assailants. In the 
fourth, which was fought on the day 
following the third, and on the same 
battle-groimd, they gained a great 
victory, killing 60,000 of the enemy. 
Still Astyages did not desist from his 
attempt to reconquer them. The fifth 
battle is not contained in the frag> 
ment. It evidently, however, took 
place in the same neighbourhood (cf. 
Strab. XV. p. 1036), for the spoils 

were taken to Pasargadas. Astyages 
fled. The provinces feU off, and ac- 
knowledged the sovereignty of Persia. 
Finally Cyrus went in pursuit of As- 
tyages, who had still a small body 
of adherents, defeated him, and took 
him prisoner. 1'his last would seem 
to be the second battle of Herodotus. 
The last but one is called by Strabo 
the final struggle, as indeed in one 
sense it was. It is this which ho says 
took place near Pasargadae. 

The narrative of Plutarch (De Vir- 
tut. Mulier. p. 246, A.) belongs to 
the fourth battle, and doubtless came 
from Ctesias. 

As there is. less improbability, and 
far less i>oetry, in the narrative of 
Nicolaiis Damascenus than in that of 
Herodotus, it is perhaps to be pre- 
ferred, notwithstanding the untrust- 
worthiness of Ctesias, probably his 
sole authority. 

T 2 


with the kingly power, and not retain it himself, yel 
justice required that a Mede, rather than a Persian, 
should receive the dignity. Now, however, the Medes, 
who had been no parties to the wrong of which he 
complained, were made slaves instead of lords, and 
slaves moreover of those who till recently had been 
their subjects." 

130. Thus after a reign of thirty-five years, Asty- 
ages lost his crown, and the Medes, in consequence of 
his cruelty, were brought under the rule of the Per- 
sians. Their empire over the parts of Asia beyond the 
Halys had lasted one hundred and twenty-eight years, 
except during the time when the Scythians had the 
dominion.* Afterwards the Medes repented of their 
submission, and revolted from Darius, but were de- 
feated in battle, and again reduced to subjection.^ 

* This is a passage of extreme diffi- 
culty. The clause 7rapc| rj 6<rop oi 
2KvBai ^px^Vj has been generally un- 
derstood to mean, " besides the time 
that the Scythians had the dominion ;" 
80 that the entire number of years 
has been supposed to be (128-|-28=) 
156, and Herodotus has thus been 
considered to place the commence- 
ment of the Median hegemony six 
years before the accession of Deioces. 
(See the synopsis of the opinions on 
the passage in Clinton, F. H. vol. i. 
pp. 257-9 ; and infra, Essay iii. § 
13). But Trapef tj seems rightly ex- 
plained by Valckenaer and Clinton as, 
not '* besides,'' but ^'except,*' "The 
Medes ruled over Upper Asia 128 
years, except during the time that 
Scythians had the dominion ;" t. e. 
they ruled (128-28=) 100 years. 
(See on this point the * Rerum Assy- 
riarum tempora emendata' of Dr. 
Brandis, pp. 6-8.) This would make 
their rule begin in the twenty-third 
year of Deioces. 

Niebuhr (Denkschrift d. Berl. Ac. 
d. Wissenschaft, 1820-1, pp. 49-50) 
suspected that the passage was cor- 
rupt, and proposed the following read- 
ing — df}(avT€s TTJ^ ay<o "AXuof 9rora/xov 

*A<rtf;ff fV* €T€a irtVTriKovra koX Ikot 
t6v, napf^ rj otrov oi Sjcv^cu ^pxoVt 
rptfiKovra bva>v hiovra. This would 
remove some, but not all, of the diffi- 
culties. It is moreover too extensive 
an alteration to be received against 
the authority of all the»MSS. 

* It has been usual to regard this 
outbreak as identical with the revolt 
recorded by Xenophon (Hell. i. ii. ad 
fin.) in almost the same words. Bahr 
(in loc.) and Dahlmann (Life of He- 
rod, p. 33, Engl. Tr.) have argued 
from the passage that Herodotus was 
still employed upon his history as 
late as b.c. 407. Clinton is of the 
same opinion, except that he places 
the revolt one year earlier (F. H. vol. 
ii. p. 87. 01. 92, 4). Mr. Grote, 
with his usual sagacity, perceived 
that Herodotus could not intend a 
revolt 150 years after the subjection, 
or mean by Darius "without any 
adjective designation," any other Da- 
rius than the son of Hystiuspes. He 
saw, therefore, that there must have 
been a revolt of the Medes from Da- 
rius Hystasi^es, of which this passage 
was possibly the only record (^Hist. of 
Greece, vol. iv. p. 304, note). Ap- 
parently he was not aware of the great 



Now, however, in tlie time of Astyages, it was the 
Persians who under Cyrus revolted from the Medes, 
and became thenceforth the rulers of Asia. Cyrus 
kept Astyages at his court during the remainder of his 
life, without doing him any further injury. Such then 
were the circumstances of the birth and bringing up of 
Cyrus, and such were the steps by which he mounted 
the throne. It was at a later date that he was attacked 
by Croesus, and overthrew him, as I have related in 
an earlier portion of this history. The overthrow of 
Croesus made him master of the whole of Asia. 

131. The customs which I know the Persians to 
observe are the following. They have no images of 
the gods, no temples nor altars, and consider the use of 
them a sign of folly .^ This comes, I think, from their 
not believing the gods to have the same nature with 
men, as the Greeks imagine. Their wont, however, is 
to ascend the summits of the loftiest mountains, and 
there to offer sacrifice to Jupiter, which is the name 
they give to the whole circuit of the firmament. They 
likewise offer to the sun and moon, to the earth, to fire, 

inscription of Darius at Behistun, 
which had been publislied by Col. 
Bawlinson the year before his fourth 
volume appeared, wherein a long and 
elaborate account is given of a Median 
revolt which occurred in the third 
year of the reign of Darius, and was 
put down with difficulty. Col. Kaw- 
linson gives the general outline of the 
struggle as follows : — 

** A civil war of a far more formi- 
dable character broke out to the 
northward. Media, Assyria, and Ar- 
menia, appear to have been confede- 
rated in a bold attempt to recover 
their independence. They elevated 
to the throne a descendant, real or 
8Up)K>sed, of the ancient line of [Me- 
dian] kings; and after six actions 
had been fought between the parti- 
sans of this powerful chief and the 
troops which were employed by Da- 
rius, under the command of three of 

his most distinguished generals, un- 
favourably it must be presumed to 
the latter, or at any rate with a very 
partial and equivocal success, the 
monarch found himself compelled to 
repair in person to the scene of con- 
flict. Darius accordingly, in the third 
year of his reign, re-ascended from 
liabylon to Media. He brought his 
enemy to action without delay, de- 
feated and pursued him, and taking 
him prisoner at Rhages, he slew him 
in the citadel of Ecbatana " (Behist. 
Inscrip. vol. i. pp. 188-9), 

Col. Mure, I observe, though aware 
of this discovery, maintains the view 
of Bahr and Dalilmann (Literature of 
Greece, vol. iv. App. G.), but not, I 
think, successfully. 

■ On the general subject of the Re- 
ligion of the Persians, see the Essays 
appended to this volume, Essay v. 


270 BEUQION. Book I. 

to water, and to the winds. These are the only gods 
whose worship has come down to them from ancient 
times. At a later period they began the worship of 
Urania, which they borrowed* from the Arabians and 

* The leadineaa of the Peniani to 
adopt foreign cnetomB, even in reli- 
pon, is very remarkable. Perhaps 
the most atriking inatance JB the 
adoption from the AssyriiuiB of the 
well-known emblem figured below 
(Figs. 1, 2, 3), oousisting of a ' 

circle, with or without a human figure 
rising from the circular space. This 
emblem is of Aaayrian origin, appear- 
ing iu the earliest sculptures of that 
country (layard's Nineveh, Tol, i. 
ch. v.). Its exact meaning is uucw- 
tain, but the conjecture is probable. 

signify omnipreseDCC, and the 
eternity. Thus the Persians were able, 
vitliout the sacrifice of any principle, 
to admit it as a religious emblem, 
wliich we find them to have done, as 
early as the time of Darius, univertalli/ 
(see the sculptures at Persepolis, 
Kakbsh-i-Ituatam, Behistun, Sic), It 
is quite a mistake to conclude from 
this, as Mr. Layard does (Nineveh, 
vol, ii. ch. viiA tliat they adopted 
the Assyrian religion generally. The 
monuments prove the very contrary ; 
for, with three ei:ceptiona, that of die 
symbol in question, that of the four- 
winged genius, and that of the colossal 
winged bulls, the Assyrian religions 
emblems do not re-appear in the early 
Persian sculptures. 
A triple fignn) is sometimes found 

issuing from the circle (Fig. 4), which 
has been supposed to represent a tiiune 



Assyrians. Mylitta* is the name by which the Assy- 
rians know this goddess, whom the Arabians call 
Alitta,* and the Persians Mitra.* 

god, bot this mode of representation 
does not ooour in the Persian sculp- 
ture*. Some religious euiblems seem 
to ha,n been adopted by the Persians 
from the Egyptians ; as, for instance, 
the curiouB head-dresa of the four- 
winged genius at Marg-atA (I'asar- 
gadK), which closely resembles a well- 
Known E^ptian form. The Persian 
sculpture is of the time of Cyrus. 

« of this F^dess, 
see below. Essay x. 'On tbo Helifiion of 
the Assyrinns and Babylonians.' The 
true explanation of the Herodotcao no- 
menclature, which has been so much 
discussed, seems to be, that Molls (ai 
Nic. Damage, gives the name, Fragm. 
Hist. Gr., vol. iii. p. 361, note 16) is for 
Vdu, and that VoliB is identical with 
the Chtildtcan Qal/i, tbo g and v being 
fas is n-cll known) portietunlly liable 
to confusion in the Greek ortbc^raphy 
of Oriental names. In Mylitta we 

nbably bavo the same name with a 
linine ending;. Ovla in the primi- 
tive language of Babylonia, which is 

now ascertained to be of the Hamitic, 
and not of the Semitic family, signified 
" great," ijeing either identical with 
Old (the more ordinary term for 
"great" — compare Ker-gal, eoAyoX, 
GalluB, &c.), or a feminine form of 
that word, — answering in fact to the 
Ouda oi the Galla dialect of Africa 
Qubi is the standard name for the 
Great Goddess tliroughoxit the In- 
scriptions. BSat, or Beltis, aimply 
meaning " a lady or mistress," was 
probably an Assyrian epithet for the 
" 18 ; but if the name wen 

tronalated by tiic Assyrians, as wu 
usually the case with the old Hamitio 
denominations, the equivalent would 
have been Habbnt, oh iu Syrinc it was 
Oadlat, and In I'ersinn Miiha Bag, 
which latter compound was coDtracted 
to Mahog, ns the name of the seat of 
the Great GmldesB's worship at Hieia- 
polia. Quia, or (he Great Goddess, is 
quite distinct from IMar or Astart^. 
— [H. C. R.] 

' Alitta, or Alilat (iii. 8), is the 
Semitic root ?((, "God," with the 
feminine suffix, P or K^, added. 

* This identification is altogether a 
mistake. The Persians, like tiwir 



Book I. 

132. To these gods the Persians oflfer sacrifice in the 
following manner : they raise no altar, light no fire, 
pour no libations ; there is no sound of the flute, no 
putting on of chaplets, no consecrated barley-cake ; but 
the man who wishes to sacrifice brings his victim to a 
spot of ground which is pure from pollution, and there 
calls upon the name of the god to whom he intends to 
offer. It is usual to have the turban encircled with a 
wreath, most commonly of myrtle. The sacrificer is 
not allowed to pray for blessings on himself alone, but 
he prays for the welfare of the king, and of the whole 
Persian people, among whom he is of necessity included. 
He cuts the victim in pieces, and having boiled the 
flesh, he lays it out upon the tenderest herbage that 
he can find, trefoil especially. When all is ready, 
one of the Magi comes forward and chants a hymn, 
which they say recounts the origin of the gods. It is 
not lawful to offer sacrifice unless there is a Magus pre- 
sent. After waiting a short time the sacrificer carries 

Vedic brethren, worshipped the sun 
under the name of Mithra. This was 
a portion of the religion which they 
brought with them from the Indus, 
and was not adopted from any foreign 
nation. The name of Mithra does 
not indeed occur in the Achseme- 
nian inscriptions until the time of 
Artaxerxes Mnemon (Journal of Asi- 
actio Society, vol. xv. part i. p. 160), 
but there is no reason to question the 
antiquity of his worship in Persia. 
Xenophon is right in making it a 
part of the religion of Cyrus (Cyrop. 
VIII. iii. § 12, and vii. § 3). 

The mistake of Herodotus does not 
appear to have been discovered by 
the Greeks before the time of Alex- 
ander. Xenophon, indeed, mentions 
Mithras (Cyrop. vii. v. § 53 ; (Econ. 
iv. 24), and also the Persian sun- 
worship (Cyrop. VIII. iii. $ 12), but 
he does not in any way connect the 
two. Stiabo is the first classical 
writer who distinctly lays it down 
that the Persian Mithras is the Sun- 

god (xv. p. 1039). After him Plu- 
tarch shows accjuaintance with the 
fact (Vit. Alex. c. 30), which thence- 
forth becomes generally recognised. 
(See the inscriptions on altars, dec 
SOLI iNvicTO MiTHRiE, &c., and of. 
Suidas, Hesychius, &c.) 

The real representative of Venus 
in the later Pantheon of Persia waa 
Tanata or Anaitis (see Hyde, De 
Religione Vet. Pers. p. 98). Her 
worship by the Persians had, no 
doubt, commenced in the time of 
Herodotus, but it was not till the 
reign of Artaxerxes Mnemon (b. c. 
405 at the earliest) that her statue 
was set up publicly in the temples of 
the chief cities of the empire ^Plut. 
Artaxerx. c. 27). The inscription 
of Mnemon recently discovered at 
Susa records this event (Journal of 
As. Society, I. s. c), which seems to 
have been wrongly ascribed by Berosus 
to Artaxerxes Ochus (Beros. ap. Clem. 
Alex. Protr. i. 6). 



the flesh of the victim away with him, and makes 
whatever use of it he may please.' 

133. Of all the days in the year, the one which they 
celebrate most is their birthday. It is customary to 
have the board furnished on that day with an ampler 
supply than common. The richer Persians cause an ox, 
a horse, a camel, and an ass to be baked whole ^ and 
so served up to them : the poorer classes use instead the 
smaller kinds of cattle. They eat little solid food but 
abundance of dessert, which is set on table a few dishes 
at a time ; this it is which makes them say that " the 
Greeks, when they eat, leave oflf hungry, having 
nothing worth mention served up to them after the 
meats ; whereas, if they had more put before them, they 
would not stop eating." They are very fond of wine, 
and drink it in large quantities.* To vomit or obey 

^ At the secret meetings of the AH 
Allahis of Persia, which in popular 
belief have attained an infamous no- 
toriety, but which are in reality alto- 
gether innocent, are practised many 
ceremonies that bear a striking resem- 
blance to the old Magian sacrifice. 

The Peer or holy man who pre- 
sides carries about him sprigs both of 
myrtle and of the musk willow ; he 
seats his disciples in a circle upon the 
grass usually in one of those sacred 
groves with which the Kurdish moun- 
tains abound; he chaunts mystical 
lays regarding the nature, the attri- 
butes, and the manifestations of the 
Godhead. A sheep is slaughtered as 
an expiatory sacrifice, and the carcase 
is boiled upon the spot ; the honos 
are carefully extracted, and the peer 
then distributes the flesh among his 
disciples, who creep up upon their 
knees from their respective places in 
the circle to receive the share allotted 
to them, which is further accompanied 
by a blessing and a prayer. It is 
only the initiated who are admitted 
to these meetings, and care is taken 
to guard against the intrusion of 
strangers and Mohanmiedans. It is 
probably, indeed, owing to the pre- 

caution which the Ali Allahis take 
to extinguish their lights on the ap- 
proach of strangers that they have 
acquired the name of Cheragh ktishan^ 
or " lamp-extinguishers," and that 
orgies have been assigned to them 
which were only suited to darkness. 
A disciple, I may add, upon entering 
the brotherhood, breaks a nutmeg 
with the spiritual teacher to whom 
he attaches himself, and wears per- 
petually about him in token of his 
dependence, the half of the nut which 
remains with him ; he is called $%r 
supurdeh, or " he who has given over 
his head," and is bound during his 
noviciate implicitly to follow the be- 
hests of his leader. After a proba- 
tionary discipline of several years, 
never less than three, he is admitted 
to a meeting, resigns his nutmegs 
partakes of the sacrifice, and hence- 
forward assumes a place among the 
initiated.— [H. C. R.J 

■ It is a common custom in the 
East, at the present day, to roast sheep 
whole, even for an ordinary repast; 
and on ffite days it is done in Dal- 
matia and in other parts of Europe. — 
[G. W.] 

* At the present day, among the 



Book I. 

natural calls in the presence of another, is forbidden 
among them. Such are their customs in these matters* 

It is also their general practice to deliberate upon 
affairs of weight when they are drunk ; and then on the 
morrow, when they are sober, the decision to which 
they came the night before is put before them by the 
master of the house in which it was made ; and if it is 
then approved of, they act on it; if not, they set it 
aside. Sometimes, however, they are sober at their 
first deliberation, but in this case they always recon- 
sider the matter under the influence of wine.^ 

134. When they meet each other in the streets, you 
may know if the persons meeting are of equal rank by 
the following token ; if they are, instead of speaking, 
they kiss each other on the lips. In the case where one 
is a little inferior to the other, the kiss is given on the 
cheek ; where the difference of rank is great, the in- 
ferior prostrates himself upon the ground.* Of nations, 

** bona vivants " of Persia, it is usual 
to sit for hours before dinner drinking 
wine and eating dried fruits, such as 
filberts, aknonds, pistachio-nuts, me- 
lon-seeds, &c. A party, indeed, often 
sits down at seven o'clock, and the 
dinner is not brought in till eleven. 
The dessert dishes, intermingled as 
they are with highly-seasoned deli- 
cacies, are supposed to have the effect 
of stimulating the appetite, but, in 
reality, the solid dishes, which are 
served up at the end of the feast, are 
rarely tasted. The passion, too, for 
wine^nking is as marked among 
the Persians of the present day, not- 
withstanding the prohibitions of the 
Prophet, as it was in the time of 
Herodotus. It is quite appalling, in- 
deed, to see the quantity of liquor 
which some of these topers habitually 
consume, and they usually prefer 
spirits to 'wine. — [H. C. R.] 

^ Tacitus asserts that the Germans 
were in the habit of deliberating on 
peace and war under the influence of 
reserving their determination 
morrow. He gives the reasons 

for the practice, of which he mani- 
festly approves : — " De pace denique 
et bello plerumqne in conviviis con- 
sultant, tanquam nullo magis tempore 
ad magnas cogitationes incalescat ani- 
mus. Gens non astuta, nee callida, 
aperit adhuc secreta pectoris, licenti^ 
joci. Ergb detecta et nuda omnium 
mens, postera die retractatur ; et salva 
utriusque temporis ratio est. De- 
liberant, dum fingere nesciunt: con- 
stituunt, dum errare non possunt."— 
(Germ. 22.) It does not appear that 
the Germans reversed the process. 

Plato, in his Laws, mentions the 
use made of drunkenness by the Per- 
sians. He says, the same practice 
obtained among the Thracians, the 
Scythians, the Celts, the Iberians, and 
the Carthaginians (Book i. p. 637, E). 
Duris of Saraos declared that once a 
year, at the feast of Mithras, the king 
of Persia was bound to be drunk. 
(Fr. 13.) 

* The Persians are still notorious 
for their rigid attention to ceremonial 
and etiquette. In all the ordinary 
pursuits of life, paying visits, entering 


they honour most their nearest neighbours whom they 
esteem next to themselves; those who live beyond 
these they honour in the second degree ; ^nd so with 
the remainder, the further they are removed, the less 
the esteem in which they hold them. The reason is, 
that they look upon themselves as very greatly supe- 
rior in all respects to the rest of mankind, regarding 
others as approaching to excellence in proportion as 
they dwell nearer to them ; ^ whence it comes to pass 
that those who are the farthest off must be the most 
degraded of mankind.* Under the dominion of the 
Medes, the several nations of the empire exercised 
authority over each other in this order. The Medes 
were lords over all, and governed the nations upon 
their borders, who in their turn governed the States 
beyond, who likewise bore rule over the nations which 
adjoined on them.' And this is the order which the 

a room, seating oneself in company, 
in epistolary address, and even in 
conversational idiom, gradations of 
rank are defined with equal strictness 
and nicety. With regard to the me- 
thod of salutation, the extreme limits 
are, as Herodotus observes, the mutual 
embrace (the kiss is now invariably 
given on the cheek), and prostration 
on the ground ; but there are also 
several intermwliate fonns, which he 
has not thought it worth while to 
notice, of obeisance, kissing hands, 
&c., by which an experienced observer 
learns the exact relation of the parties. 
— [H. C. K.] 

■ Of late years, since the nations of 
Europe have been brought by their 
commercial and political relations into 
closer connexion with Persia, the ex- 
cessive vanity and self-admiration of 
these Frenchmen of the East has been 
somewhat abated. Their monarch, 
however, still retains the title of " the 
Centre of the Universe," and it is not 
easy to persuade a native of Isfahan 
that any European capital can be su- 
perior to his native city. — [II. C. R.] 

* In an early stage of geographical 

knowledge each nation regards itself 
as occupying the centre of the earth. 
Herodotus tacitly assumes that Greece 
is the centre by his theory of (o-xar/ai 
or " extremities " (iii. 115). Such 
was the view conmaonly entertained 
among the Greeks, and Delphi, as the 
centre of Greece, was called " the 
navel of the world " (yas 6fA<f>a\6s, 
Soph. (Ed. T. 898 ; Find. Tyth. vi. 
3, &c.). Even Aristotle expresses 
himself to the same effect, and regards 
the happy temperament of the Greeks 
as the result of their intermediate 
position (Polit. vii. 6). Our own use 
of the terms " the East," " the West," 
is a trace of the former existence of 
similar views among ourselves. 

* It is quite inconceivable that 
there should have been any such 
system of government, either in Media 
or Persia, as Hero<lotus here indicates. 
With respect to Persia, we know that 
the most distant satrapies were held 
as directly of the crown as the nearest. 
Compare the stories of Oroetes (iii. 
126-8) and Aryandes (iv. 1G6\ The 
utmost that can be said with truth 
is, that in the Persian and Median, 



Persians also follow in their distribution of honour; 
for that people, like the Medes, has a progressive scale 
of administration and government. 

135. There is no nation which so readily adopta 
foreign customs as the Persians. Thxis, they have 
taken the dress of the Medes,* considering it superior 
to their own ; and in war they wear the Egyptian 

a» In the Bomau etnpire, there were 
thrw eredes ; first, the ruling nation ; 
Hcondly, the conqoered provincea ; 
thirdly, the nations on the frontier, 
governed bj their own laws and 
princes, but owning tlie Btipremacjr 
of the iniperial power, and reckoned 
among its tributaries. I'his was the 
position in wliich the Kthiopians, 
Colchiana, and Arabians, stood to 
Persia (Herod, iii. 97). 

' It appeara from eb. 71 that tbe 
old national dress of tbe Peraiani was 
a close-fitting tunic and trousers of 
leather. Tbe Median costume, ac- 
cording to Xenophon (Cyrop. viii. i. 

S 40) was of a nature to conceal the 
form, and give it an appearance of 
grandeur and elegance. It would 
seem therefore to have been a flow- 
ing robe. At Persepolis and BebistilD 
tbe reprcflentations of tbe monarch 
and bis cbief attendants have invaria- 
bly a long flowing robe (A), while 
soldiers and persons of minor import- 
ance wear a close-fitting dress, fastened 
by a belt, and trousers meeting at tbe 
ancles a high shoe (B). It seems 
probable that the costume (A^ is that 
which Herodotus and Xenophon call 
the Median, while the cloae-fittiDg 
dress (B) is the old Perwan garb. 

Ceap. 135, 136. 



breastplate.^ As soon as they hear of any luxury, 
they instantly make it their own : and hence, among 
other novelties, they have learnt unnatural lust from 
the Greeks. Each of them has several wives, and a 
still larger number of concubines. 

136. Next to prowess in arms, it is regarded as the 
greatest proof of manly excellence, to be the father of 
many sons.® Every year the king sends rich gifts to 
the man who can show the largest number : for they 
hold that number is strength. Their sons are care- 
fully instructed from their fifth to their twentieth 
year,' in three things alone, — to ride, to draw the 
bow, and to speak the truth.^® Until their fifth year 
they are not allowed to come into the sight of their 

^ The Egyptian corslets are noticed 
again (ii. 182, and vii. 89). For a 
description of them, see Sir G. Wil- 
kinson's note to Book ii. ch. 182. 

* Sheikh Ali Mirza, a son of the 
well-known Futteh Ali Shah, was 
accounted the proudest and happiest 
man in the empire, because, when he 
rode out on state occasions, he was 
attended by a body-guard of sixty of 
his own sons. At the time of Futteh 
Ali Shah*s death his direct descend- 
ants amounted to nearly three thou- 
sand, some of them being in the fifth 
degree, and every Persian in conse- 
quence felt a pride in being the subject 
of such a king. The greatest mis- 
fortune, indeed, that can befal a man 
in Persia is to be childless. When a 
chiefs " hearthstone ^^^ as it was said, 
** was darkf^^ he lost all resi)ect, and 
hence arose the now universal practice 
of adoption. — [H. C. R.] 

• Xenophon, in his romance (Cyrop. 
I. ii. § 8), makes the first period of 
education end with the sixteenth or 
seventeenth year, after which he says 
there followed a second period of ten 
years. It was not till the completion 
of this second period that the Persian 
became a full citizen (rcXeioy). In 
all this, it is evident, we have only 
the philosophic notions of the Greeks. 
Perhaps even in Herodotus we have 
Greek speculations rather than his- 

tory. He does not appear to have 
travelled in Persia Proper. 

*® The Persian regard for truth has 
been questioned by Larcher on the 
strength of the speech of Darius in 
Book iii. (ch. 72V lliis speech, how- 
ever, is entirely unhistoric. The 
special estimation in which truth was 
held among the Persians is evidenced 
in a remarkable manner by the in- 
scriptions of Darius, where lying is 
taken as the representative of all evil. 
It is the great calamity of the usur- 
pation of the pseudo-Smerdis, that 
** then the lie became abounding in 
the land" (Behist. Ins. Col. i. Par. 
10). '* The Evil One (?) invented lies 
that they should deceive the state" 
(Col. iv. Par. 4). Darius is favoured 
by Omiazd, " because he was not a 
heretic, nor a liar, nor a tyrant" 
(Col. iv. Par. 13). His successors are 
exhorted not to cherish, but to cast 
into utter perdition, " the man who 
may be a liar, or who may be an evil 
doer" (ib. Par. 14). His great fear 
is lest it may be thought that any 
part of the record #rhich he has set up 
has been ** falsely related," and he 
even abstains from narratino; certain 
events of his reign " lest to him who 
may hereafter peruse the tablet, the 
many deeds that have been done by 
him may seem to he/alsely recorded " 
(ib. Par. 6 and 8). 



Book I. 

father, but pass their lives with the women. This 
is done that, if the child die young, the father may 
not be afflicted by its loss. 

137. To my mind it is a wise rule, as also is the 
following — that the king shall not put any one to 
death for a single fault, and that none of the Persians 
shall visit a single fault in a slave with any extreme 
penalty ; but in every case the services of the offender 
shall be set against his misdoings ; and, if the latter 
be found to outweigh the former, the aggrieved party 
shall then proceed to punishment.^ 

138. The Persians maintain that never yet did any 
one kill his own father or mother ; but in all such cases 
they are quite sure that, if matters were sifted to the 
bottom,' it would be found that the child was either 
a changeling or else the fruit of adultery ; for it is not 
likely they say that the real father should perish by 
the hands of his child. 

139. They hold it unlawful to talk of anything which 
it is unlawfiil to do. The most disgraceful thing in the 
world, they think, is to tell a lie ; the next worst, to 
owe a debt : because, among other reasons, the debtor 
is obliged to tell lies. If a Persian has the leprosy ' 
he is not allowed to enter into a city, or to have any 
dealings with the other Persians ; he must, they say, 
have sinned against the sun. Foreigners attacked by 
this disorder, are forced to leave the country : even 
white pigeons are often driven away, as guilty of the 
same offence. They never defile a river with the secre- 
tions of their bodies, nor even wash their hands in one; 
nor will they allow others to do so, as they have a 
great reverence for rivers. There is another peculiarity. 

* Vide infra, vii. 194. 

■ In the original, two kinds of le- 
prosy are mentioned, the XcVpa and 
the Xcvm;. There does not appear by 
the description which Aristotle gives 
of the latter (Hist. Animal, iii. 11) to 

have been any essential difference be- 
tween them. The Xevkij was merely 
a mild form of leprosy. With the Per-. 
sian isolation of the leper, compare the 
Jewish practice (Lev. xiii. 46. 2 Kings 
vii. 3. XV. 5. Luke xvii. 12). 

Chap. 137-140. 



wldclL the Persians themselves have never noticed, but 
which has not escaped my observation. Their names, 
which are expressive of some bodily or mental excel- 
lence,' all end with the same letter — the letter which is 
called San by the Dorians, and Sigma by the lonians.* 
Any one who examines will find that the Persian names, 
one and all without exception, end with this letter.* 

140. Thus much I can declare of the Persians with 
entire certainty, from my own actual knowledge. 
There is another custom which is spoken of with 
reserve, and not openly, concerning their dead. It is 
said that the body of a male Persian is never buried, 
until it has been torn either by a dog or a bird of 
prey,® That the Magi have this custom is beyond a 

* It is apparent from this passage 
that Herodotus bad not any very 
exact acquaintance with the Persian 
language ; for though it is true enough 
the Persian names have all a meaning 
(as the Greek names also have), yet it 
is rarely that the etymology can be 
traced to denote physical or mental 
qualities. They more usually indicate 
a glorious or elevated station, or de- 
pendancc on the gods, or worldly 
possessions. See the list of Persian 
names occurring in Herodotus and 
other writers in the notes appended to 
Book vi.— [H. C. R.] 

* The Phoenician alphabet, from 
which the Greeks adopted theirs 
(infra, v. 58), possessed both san (Heb. 
shin) and sigma (Heb. samech). The 
Greeks, not having the sound of sA, did 
not ueed the two sibilants, and there- 
fore soon mergeil them in one, retain- 
ing however both in their system of 
numeration, till they replaced svjma 
by art. The Dorians called the sibilant 
which was kept san , the lonians sigma, 
but the latter use prevailed. The 
letter came to be generally known as 
iigmay but at the same time it held 
the place of san in the alphabet. (See 
Bunsen*8 Philosophy of Univ. Hist, 
vol. i. p. 258.") 

* Here Herodotuswas again mistaken. 
The Persian names of men which ter- 
minate with a consonant end indeed 

invariably with the letter «, or rather 
shy as Kurush ^CJyrus), Ddryavush 
(Darius), Chishpaish (Teispes), Hakhd- 
manishy &c. (Achaemenes). [The sh 
in such cases is the mere nommatival 
ending of the 2nd and 3rd declensions ; 
i. e. of themes ending in i and u. — 
H. C. R.] But a large number of 
Persian names of men were pro- 
nounced with a vowel termination, 
not expressed in writing, and in these 
the last consonant might be almost 
any letter. We find on the monuments 
Va8htdsj)(a) Hystaspes — Arshdm(ja.) 
A rsames — Ariydrdman(a)A riaramnes 
— Bardii/(a) Bardius or Smerdis — 
Oaumat(a) Gomates — Oaubruu'(^a) 
Gobryas — &c. &c. The sigma in these 
cases is a mere conventional addition 
of the Greeks. 

• Agathias (ii. p. 60) and Strabo 
(xv. p. 1042) also mention this strange 
custom, which still prevails among 
the Parsees wherever they are found, 
whether in Persia or in India. Char- 
din relates that there was in his time 
a cemetery, half a league from Isfa- 
han, consisting of a round tower 35 
feet high, without any doorway or 
other entrance. Here the Guebres de- 
posited their dead by means of a lad- 
der, and left them to be devoured by 
the crows, which were to be seen in 
large nimabcrs about the place. (Voy- 


doubt, for they practise it without any conceahnent. 
The dead bodies are covered with wax, and then buried 
in the ground. 

The Magi are a very peculiar race, differing entirely 
from the Egyptian priests, and indeed from all other 
men whatsoever. The Egyptian priests make it a 
point of religion not to kill any live animals except 
those which they offer in sacrifice. The Magi, on the 
contrary, kill animals of all kinds with their own 
hands, excepting dogs ' and men. They even seem to 
take a delight in the employment, and kill, as readily 
as they do other animals, ants and snakes, and such like 
flying or creeping things. However, since this has 
always been their custom, let them keep to it. I return 
to my former narrative. 

141. Immediately after the conquest of Lydia by the 
Persians, the Ionian and ^olian Greeks sent ambas- 
sadors to Cyrus at Sardis, and prayed to become his 
lieges on the footing which they had occupied under 
Croesus. Cyrus listened attentively to their proposals, 
and answered them by a fable. " There was a certain 
piper,'* he said, "who was walking one day by the 
sea-side, when he espied some fish ; so he began to pipe 
to them, imagining they would come out to him upon 
the land. But as he found at last that his hope was 
vain, he took a net, and enclosing a great draught of 
fishes, drew them ashore. The fish then began to leap 
and dance ; but the piper said, * Cease your dancing now, 
as you did not choose to come and dance when I piped 
to you.' " Cyrus gave this answer to the lonians and 

age en Perse, torn. ii. p. 186.) Such 
towers exist throughout India, wher- 
ever the Parsees are numerous. The 
bodies are laid on iron bars sloping 
inwards. When the flesh is gone, the 
bones slip through between the bars, 
or sliding down them fall in at the 
tre, where there is an open space 
for the purpose. 

' The dog is represen ted in the Zenda- 
vesta as the special animal of Ormazd, 
and is still regarded with peculiar re- 
verence by the Parsees. On one of the 
magnificent tombs at the Chehl-Minar, 
of which Chardin Las given an accurate 
drawing (plate (38), a row of dogs is 
the ornament of the entablature. 

Chap. 141, 142. 



^olians, because, when he urged them by his messen- 
gers to revolt from CroBSUs, they refused; but now, 
when his work was done, they came to offer their 
allegiance. It was in anger, therefore, that he made 
them this reply. The lonians, on hearing it, set to 
work to fortify their towns, and held meetings at the 
Panionium,'* which were attended by all excepting the 
Milesians, with whom Cyrus had concluded a separate 
treaty, by which he allowed them the terms they had 
formerly obtained from CroBSUs. The other lonians 
resolved, with one accord, to send ambassadors to 
Sparta to implore assistance. 

142. Now the lonians of Asia, who meet at the 
Panionium, have built their cities in a region where 
the air and climate are the most beautiful in the whole 
world : for no other region is equally blessed with 
Ionia, neither above it nor below it, nor east nor west 
of it. For in other countries either the climate is 
over cold and damp, or else the heat and drought are 
sorely oppressive. The lonians do not all speak the 
same language, but use in different places four dif- 
ferent dialects. Towards the south their first city is 
Miletus, next to which lie Myus and Priene f all these 

'• Infra, ch. 148, note ». 

• Miletus, Myus, and Pri^n^ all 
lay near the mouth of the Maeander 
(the modem Mendere), At their ori- 
ginal colonisation they were all mari- 
time cities. Miletus stood at the 
northern extremity of a promontory 
formed by the moimtain-range called 
Grius, commanding the entrance of 
an extensive hay which washed the 
base of the four mountains, Grius, 
Latmus, and Titanus, south of the 
Maeander, and MycaM, a continuation 
of the great range of Messogis, north 
of that stream. This bay, called the 
bay of Latmus, was about 25 miles in 
its greatest length, from near Latmus 
to Prifin^. Its depth, from Miletus 
to Myus, was above 6 miles. Myus 
stood nearly in the centre of the bay, 

VOL. I. 

at the foot of Titanus ; Pridn^, at its 
northern extremity, under the hill of 
MycaM. Into this bay the Mceander 
poured its waters, and the consequence 
was the perpetual formation of fresh 
land. (Vide infrd, ii. 10, where Hero- 
dotus notes the fact.) Pri6n6, by the 
time of Strabo, was 40 stadia (4^ miles) 
from the 8ea(xii. p. 827^. Myus had 
been rendered uninhabitable by the 
growth of the alluviimi, forming hol- 
lows in its vicinity, where the stag- 
nant water generated swarms of mus- 
quitoes (Strab. xiv. p. 912 ; Pausan. 
VII. ii. § 7). Since the time of these 
geographers the changes have been 
even more astonishing, llie soil 
brought down by the Meeander has 
filled up the whole of the northern 
portion of the gulf, so that Miletus, 



three are in Caria and have the same dialect. Their 
cities in Lydia are the following : Ephesus, Colophon, 
Lebedus, Tecs, Clazomenae, and Phocaea.* The inhabitr 
ante of these towns have none of the peculiarities of 
speech which belong to the three first-named cities, 
but use a dialect of their own. There remain three 
other Ionian towns, two situate in isles, namely, 
Samos and Chios; one upon the mainland, which ie 
Erythrse. Of these Chios and Erythrse have the same 
dialect, while Samos possesses a language peculiar to 
itself Such are the four varieties of which I spoke. 

143. Of the lonians at this period, one people, the 
Milesians, were in no danger of attack, as Cyrus bad 

Myna, and Prifinrf now Htaud on the 
outskirts of a great Alluvial plain, 
which eit«adfl oven beyond Miletua, 
4 or 6 miles seawards. Ladi, and 
the other islands which lay off the 
Milesian shoro, are become part of 
the continent, rising, like the rock of 
Bumbarton, from the marshy soil. 

The southern portion of the Kolf of 
Latmus is become B lake, the lake of 
Bafi, which is now 7 or 8 miles Urom 
the sea at the nearest point, llie 
difference between the ancient and 
modem geography will be beat seen 
by oomparing tna charts. 
* These cities are enumented in tits 



received them into alliance. The islanders also had 
as yet nothing to fear, since Phoenicia was still inde- 
pendent of Persia, and the Persians themselves were 
not a seafaring people. The Milesians had separated 
from the common cause solely on account of the 
extreme weakness of the loniaus: for, feehle as the 
power of the entire Hellenic race was at that time, 
of all ite tribes the Ionic was hy far the feehlest and 
least esteemed, not possessing a single State of any 
mark excepting Athens. The Athenians and most of 
the other Ionic States over the world, went so far in 
their dislike of the name as actually to lay it aside ; and 
even at the present day the greater numher of them 

a which they stood, from south 
to north. ErjHihrs lay on the coast 
opposite Chios, between Teos and Cla- 

' Accordiog to Suidas, Herodotus 
emigrated to Samos from Halicsr- 
nusQS on account of the tyranny 
of Ledums, grandson of Aitsmisia, 

and there exchanged his native Do- 
ric for the Ionic dialect in which 
he composed his history. If this 
account be true, wo must consider 
that wc have in the writings of Hero- 
dotus the Samian variety of the lonio 
dialect. But little d 
be placed on Suidas. 



seem to me to be ashamed of it.' But the twelve cities 
in Asia have always gloried in the appeUation ; they gave 
the temple which they built for themselves the name of 
the Faniouium, and decreed that it should not he open 
to any of the other Ionic States ; no State, however, 
except Smyrna, has craved admission to it. 

144. In the same way the Dorians of the region which 
is now called the Pentapolis, but which was formerly 
known as the Doric Hexapolis, exclude all their Dorian 
neighbours from their temple, the Triopium : ' nay, they 
have even gone so far as to shut out from it certain of 
their own body who were guilty of an offence against 
the customs of the place. In the games which were 
anciently celebrated in honour of the Triopian Apolio,* 

* The old FeUsgic tribes, wbea ODce 
Hellecised, were apt Ui despise their 
proper ethnic appellationa. Ab with 
the loaiBOH, lo it was with the 
Diyopiana, who generBlly contemned 
their name, as FausaDias telle us 
(iv. xxiiv. § G). Here B^ia, how- 

ever, there was an exception, the 
AsiuieanB, unlike other Dryopiaiu, 
gloiying in the title (ib.). 

» The Triopium was huilt on a pro- 
montory of the same name within the 
territory of the Cnidians. It lias been 
usual to identify the promontory willi 

the nnall peninsula (now Cape Ktw) I afterwards joined bv a causeway to 

whi ch, according to Straho (xIt. p. thecityofCnidua, ^See Ionian Antiq. 

MB}, was once an island, and was I vol. iii. p. 2. lloaufoit'u Earamania, 

Chap. 144, 145. TWELVE CITIES OP ACR^SA. 


the prizes given to the victors were tripods of brass ; 
and the rule was that these tripods should not be 
carried away from the temple, but should then and 
there be dedicated to the god. Now a man of Hali- 
camassus, whose name was Agasicles, being declared 
victor in the games, in open contempt of the law, took 
the tripod home to his own house and there hung it 
against the wall. As a punishment for this fault, the 
five other cities, Lindus, lalyssus, Cameirus, Cos, and 
Cnidus, deprived the sixth city, Halicarnassus, of the 
right of entering the temple/ 

145. The lonians founded twelve cities in Asia, 
and refused to enlarge the number, on accoimt (as I 
imagine) . of their having been divided into twelve 
States when they lived in the Peloponnese ; * just as 
the Achaeans, who drove them out, are at the present 
day. The first city of the Achseans after Sicyon, is 
Pellen^, next to which are ^geira, ^gse upon the 
Crathis, a stream which is never dry, and from which 

Map, app. p. 81. Texier, Asie Mi- 
neure, vol. iii. plate 159.) But from 
the notice contained in Scylax 
(Peripl. p. 91), and from the nar- 
rative in Thucydides (viii. 35), it is 
evident that the Triopian cape was 
not Cape Krio, on which stood a part 
of the town of Cnidus (Strab. 1. s. c), 
but a promontory further to the north, 
probably that immediately above Cape 
Krio, No remains of the ancient 
temple have yet been foimd, but 
perhaps the coast has not been suffi- 
ciently explored above Cnidus. 

* An inscription found at Cnidus 
mentions a yvfiviKbs ayav as occurring 
every fifth year. (8ee Hamilton's 
Asia Minor, vol. ii. p. 460.) The 
games are said to have been celebrated 
in honour of Neptune and the Nymphs, 
as well as of Apollo. (Schol. ad Theocr. 
Id. xvii. 69.) 

* Lindus, lalysus, and Cameirus 
were in Rhodes, Cos was on the island 
of the same name, at the mouth of 
the Ceramic Gulf. Cnidus and Uali- 
carnassus were ou the mainland, the 

former near to the Triopium, the 
latter on the north shore of the Ce- 
ramic Gulf, on the site now occupied 
by Boodroom. These six cities formed 
an Amphictyony, which held its meet- 
ings at the temple of Apollo, called 
the Triopium, near Cnidus, the most 
central of the cities. (Schol. ad 
Theocrit. 1. s. c.) 

There were, as Herodotus indicates, 
many other Doric settlements on 
these coasts. The principal appear to 
have been Myndus and lassus to the 
north, and Phas^lis to the east, upon 
the continent, Carpathus and Sym^, 
on their respective islands. Concern- 
ing the site of Phasfilis, vide infra, ii, 
178, note •. 

• According to the common tra- 
dition, the Acha?ans, expelled by the 
Dorians from Argolis, Laconia, and 
Messenia, at the time of the return of 
the Heracleids (b.c. 1104 in the ordi- 
nary chronology), retired northwards, 
and expelled the lonians from their 
country, which became the Achsea of 
I history. (Vide infri, vii. 94.) 



Book I. 

the Italian Crathis** received its name, — Bura, Helio6 — 
where the lonians took refuge on their defeat by the 
Achaean invaders, — -55gium, Rhypes, Patreis, Phareis, 
Olenus on the Peirus, which is a large river, — Dyme 
and Tritaeeis, all sea-port towns except the last two, 
which lie up the country. 

146. These are the twelve divisions of what is 
now Achaea, and was formerly Ionia; and it was 
owing to their coming from a country so divided that 
the lonians, on reaching Asia, founded their twelve 
States : * for it is the height of folly to maintain that 
these lonians are more Ionian than the rest, or in any 
respect better born, since the truth is that no small 
portion of them were Abantians from Euboea, who are 
not even lonians in name; and, besides, there were 
mixed up with the emigration, Minyae from Orcho- 
menus, Cadmeians, Dryopians, Phocians from the 
several cities of Phocis, Molossians, Arcadian Pelasgi, 
Dorians from Epidaurus, and many other distinct 
tribes.® Even those who came from the Prytanfeum 
of Athens,® and reckon themselves the purest lonians 

•• The Italian Crathis ran close by 
our author's adopted city, Thurium 
(infra, v. 45, Strab. vi. p. 378). 

' It may be perfectly true, as has 
been argued by Kaoul-Rochet'te (torn, 
iii. p. 83) and Mr. Grote (vol. iii. 
part ii. ch. xiii.), that the Ionic coloni- 
sation of Asia Minor, instead of being 
the result of a single great impulse, 
was th^ consequence of a long series 
of distinct and isolated efforts on the 
part of many difl'erent states ; and 
yet there may be the connexion 
which Herodotus indicates between 
the twelve cities of Achaea and the 
twelve states of Asiatic lonians. The 
sacred number of the lonians may 
have been twelve, and no other num- 
ber may have been thought to con- 
stitute a perfect Amphictyony. In 
the same way the Etruscans in Italy 
(whether ^hey moved northwards or 
southwards) formed their later con- 

federacy of the same number of cities 
as their earlier (Livy, v. 33). 

■ The Orchomenian MinysB founded 
Teos (Pausan. vii. iii. § 7), the Pho- 
cian s PhocTa (ibid . ). Aban tians from 
Euboea were minjiled with lonians in 
Chios (Ion. ap. Pausan. vii. iv. § 6). 
Cadmeians formed a large proportion 
of the settlers at Pri6n2, which was 
sometimes called Cadmd (Strab. xiv. 
p. 912). Attica had served as a re- 
fuge to fugitives from all quarters 
(see Thucyd. i. 2). 

• Tliis expression alludes to the 
solemnities which accompanied the 
sending out of a colony. In the 
Prytan^um, or Government-house, of 
each state was preserved the sacred 
fire, which was never allowed to go 
out, whereon the life of the State was 
supposed to depend. When a colony 
took its departure, the leaders went 
in solemn procession to the Pryta- 

Ghaf. 146, 147. 



of ally brought no wives with them to the new country, 
but married Carian girls, whose fathers they had slain. 
Hence these women made a law, which they bound 
themselves by an oath to observe, and which they 
handed down to their daughters after them, "That 
none should ever sit at meat with her husband, or 
call him by his name ;" because the invaders slew their 
fathers, their husbands, and their sons, and then forced 
them to become their wives. It was at Miletus that 
these events took place. 

147, The kings, too, whom they set over them, 
were either Lycians, of the blood of Glaucus,^" son 
of Hippolochus, or Pylian Caucons^ of the blood of 
Codrus, son of Melanthus; or else from both those 
families. But since these lonians set more store by 
the name than any of the others, let them pass for 
the pure bred lonians; though truly all are lonians 
who have their origin from Athens, and keep the 
Apaturia.' This is a festival which all the lonians 

ndum of the mother city, and took 
fresh fire from the sacred hearth, which 
was conveyed to the Pry tanSum of the 
new settlement. 

»• See Horn. II. ii. 876. 

* The Caucons are reckoned by 
Strabo among the earliest inhabitants 
of Greece, and associated with the 
Pelasgi, Leleges, and Dryopes (vii. 
p. 465). Like their kinc&ed tribes, 
they were very ^videly spread. Their 
chief settlements, however, appear to 
have been on the north coast of Asia 
Minor, between the Mariandynians 
and the river Parthenius (Strab. xii. 
p. 786), and on the west coast of the 
reloponnese in Messenia, Elis, and 
Triphylia. (Strab. viii. pp. 496-7; 
Arist. Fr. 135.) In this last position 
they are mentioned by Homer (Od. 
iii. 366) and by Herodotus, both here, 
and in Book iv. ch. 148. Homer pro- 
bably alludes to the eastern Caucons in 
11.X.429, and xx. 329. They continued 
to exist under the name of Cauconita;, 
or Cauoonista3, in Strabo's time, on 

the Parthenius (comp. viii. p. 501, 
and xii. p. 786), and are even men- 
tioned by Ptolemy (v. 1) as still 
inhabiting the same region. From 
the Peloponnese the race had entirely 
disappeared when Strabo wrote, but 
had left their name to the river 
Caucon, a small stream in the north- 
western corner of the peninsula. 
(Strab. viii. 496.) 

* The Apaturia (a (= &ijm) narvpui) 
was the solemn annual meeting of the 
phratries, for the purpose of register- 
ing the children of the preceding year 
whose birth entitled them to citizen- 
ship. It took place in the month 
Pyanepsion (November), and lasted 
three days. On the first day, called 
Aopirta, the members of each phratry 
eitner dined together at the Phratrium, 
or were feasted at the house of some 
wealthy citizen. On the second day 

Sdi/appv(rt(), solemn sacrifice was of- 
erea to Jupiter Phratrius. After these 
preliminaries, on the third day (kov- 
pcurtr) the business of the festival 



Book I. 

celebrate, except the Ephesians and the Colophonians, 
whom a certain act of bloodshed excludes from it, 

148. The Panionium ^ is a place in Mycal6, facing 
the north, which was chosen by the common voice of 
the lonians and made sacred to Heliconian Neptune.* 
Mycale itself is a promontory of the mainland, stretch- 
ing out westward towards Samos, in which the lonians 
assemble from all their States to keep the feast of the 
Panionia.* The names of festivals, not only among 
the lonians but among all the Greeks, end, like the 
Persian proper names, in one and the same letter. 

149. The above-mentioned, then, are the twelve 
towns of the lonians. The -^olic cities are the fol- 
lowing : — Cym^, called also Phriconis, Larissa, Neon- 
teichus, Temnus, Cilia, Notium, -^giroessa, Pitan6, 
iEgaese, Mjrrina, and Gryneia.* These are the eleven 

took place. Claims were made, ob- 
jections were heard, and the registra- 
tion was effected. (See Larcher's note, 
vol. i. pp. 420-2, and Smith's Diet, of 
Antiquities, in voc. 'Atrorovpia.) 

■ Under the name of ranionium 
are included both a tract of ground 
and a temple. It is the former of 
which Herodotus here speaks parti- 
cularly, as the place in which tlie 
great Pan-Ionic festival was held. 
The 8ix)t was on the north side of the 
promontory of MycaM, at the foot of 
the hill, three stadia (about a third of 
a mile) from the shore (Strab. xiv. 
p. 916). The modem village of 
TckangU is supposed, with reason, to 
occupy the site. It is the only place 
on that steep and mountainous coast 
wliere an opening for a temple occurs ; 
and here in a church on the sea-shore 
Sir W. Gell found an inscription in 
which the word "Panionium" occurred 
tmce. (Leake's Asia Minor, p. 2(K).) 
The Panionium was in the territory of 
Pridn^, and consequently under the 
guardianship of that state. 

* Heliconian Neptune was so called 

from Helic^, which is mentioned above 

MMMMIm ancient Ionian cities in the 

^^^^■|(ch.l45). This had been 

the central point of the old confe- 
deracy, and the temple there had been 
in old times their place of meeting. 
Pausanias calls it dytan-arov (vii. xxiv. 
§ 4). The temple at MycaW in the 
new Amphictyony occupied the place 
of that at Helic^ in the old. (Comp. 
Clito[)hon. Fr. 5.) 

* It is remarkable that Thucydidcs, 
writing so shortly after Herodotus, 
should speak of the Pan-Ionic festival 
at MycaM as no longer of any im- 
portance, and regard it as practically 
superseded by the festival of the 
Ephesia, held near Ephesus (iii. 104). 
Still the old feast continued, and was 
celebrated as late as the time of 
Augustus (Strabo, xiv. p. 916). 

• In this enumeration Herodotus 
does not observe any regular order. 
Proceeding from south to north, the 
iEolic cities (so far as they can be 
located with any certainty) occur in 
following sequence : — Smyrna, Tem- 
nus, Neonteichus, Larissa, Cym^ 
-^gse,Myrina,Gryneium,Pitan^. Five 
of these, Pitan^, Gryneium, Myrina, 
Cym^, and Smyrna, were upon the 
coast. The others lay inland. 

iEgiroessa is not mentioned by any 
author but Herodotus, and Stephen, 



ancient cities of the -^olians. Originally, indeed, they 
had twelve cities upon the mainland, like the lonians, 
hut the lonians deprived them of Smyrna, one of the 
nnmher. The soil of -^olis is better that of Ionia, but 
the climate is less agreeable. 

150. The following is the way in which the loss of 
Smyrna happened. Certain men of Colophon had been 
engaged in a sedition there, and being the weaker 
party, were driven by the others into banishment. 
The Smymaeans received the fugitives, who, after a 
time, watching their opportunity, while the inhabit- 
ants were celebrating a feast to Bacchus outside the 
walls, shut to the gates, and so got possession of the 
town.* The iEolians of the other States came to their 
aid, and terms were agreed on between the parties, the 
lonians consenting to give up all the moveables, and 
the jEoHans making a surrender of the place. The 
expelled Smymaeans were distributed among the other 
States of the Cohans, and were everywhere admitted 
to citizenship. 

151, These, then, were all the ^oHc cities upon the 
mainland, with the exception of those about Mount 
Ida, which made no part of this confederacy.® As 

quoting him. Herodotus, on the other 
hand, omits Elaea, near the mouth of 
the Caicus, which Strabo and Stephen 
mention as one of the principal iEolian 
cities. Possibly therefore ^^giroessa 
is another name for Elaea. 

J5olis, according to this view, 
reached from the mouth of the 
Evenus (the modem Kosak) to the 
Interior recess of the bay of JSmyma. 
ITiere was an interrui)tion, however, 
in the coast line, as the Ionic colony 
of Phocsea intervened between Smyrna 
and Cym^. Still in all probability 
the territory was continuous inland, 
reaching across the plain of the 
Hermus ; Larissa to the north and 
Temnus to the south of the Hermus 
forming the links which connected 
Smyrna with the rest of the Amphi- 

ctyony. (See Kiepert's Supple- 
mentary Maps, Berlin, 1851.) 

The territory was a narrow strip 
along the shores of the Elaeitic Gulf, 
but extended inland considerably up 
the rich valleys of the Hermus and 
Caicus ; Pergamus in the one valley, 
and Magnesia (under Sipylus) in the 
other, being included within the limits 
of iEolis. 

' Such treachery was not without 
a parallel in ancient times. Herodotus 
relates a similar instance in the con- 
duct of the Samians, who, when in- 
vited by the Zanclseans to join them 
in colonising CaM Act^, finding ZancM 
undefended, seized it, and took it for 
their own (infra, vi. 23). 

" The district here indicated, and 
commonly called the Troad, extended 



Book I. 

for the islands, Lesbos contains five cities.* Arisba, 
tHe sixth, was taken by the Methymnaeans, their kins- 
men, and the inhabitants reduced to slavery. Tenedos 
contains one city, and there is another which is built on 
what are called the Hundred Isles. ^** The jEolians of 
Lesbos and Tenedos, like the Ionian islanders, had at 
this time nothing to fear. The other iEoHans decided 
in their common assembly to follow the lonians, what- 
ever course they should pursue. 

152. When the deputies of thd lonians and iElolians, 
who had journeyed with all speed to Sparta, reached 
the city, they chose one of their number, Pythermus, 
a Phocsean, to be their spokesman. In order to draw 
together as large an audience as possible, he clothed 
himself in a purple garment, and so attired stood 
forth to speak. In a long discourse he besought the 
Spartans to come to the assistance of his country- 
men, but they were not to be persuaded, and voted 
against sending any succour. The deputies accordingly 
went their way, while the Lacedaemonians, notwith- 
standing the refusal which they had given to the prayer 
of the deputation, despatched a penteconter^ to the 
Asiatic coast with certain Spartans on board, for the 

from Adramyttium on the south to 
Priapus on the north, a city lying on 
the Propontis, nearly due north of 
Adramyttium. It was much larger 
than the proper ^olis, and contained 
a vast numoer of cities, of which 
Assus and Antandrus were the chief. 
This district was mainly colonised 
from Leshos. (Pausan. vi. iv. § 6 ; 
Strabo, xiii. pp. 885, 892.) 

■ The five Lesbian cities were, 
Mytilfine', Methymna, Antissa, Eresus, 
and Pyrrha. (Scylax. Peripl. p. 87 ; 
Strabo, xiii. pp. 885-7.) 

*® These islands lay off the pro- 
montory which separated the bay of 
Atameus from that of Adramyttium, 
opposite to the northern part of the 
island of Lesbos. They are said to be 
nearly forty in number. (Bikhr in loc.) 

* Penteconters were ships with fifty 
rowers, twenty-five of a side, who sat 
on a level, as is customary in row- 
boats at the present day. Biremes 
(dt^pcif ), triremes (rpi^pcis), &c., were 
ships in which the rowers sat in ranks, 
some above the others. Biremes were 
probably a Phccnician invention. They 
were certainly known to the Assyrians 
in the time of Sennacherib, probably 
through that people. The subjoined 
representation is from the palace of 
that monarch at Koujrunjik. Triremes 
are said to have been invented about 
a century and a half before Cyrus by 
the Corinthians (Thucyd. i. 13), but 
were for a long time very little used. 
The navy of Polycrates consisted of 
penteconters. (Vide infra, iii. 59.) 



purpose, as I think, of watching Cyrus and Ionia. 
These men, on their arrival at Phocsea, sent to Sardis 
lAcrinee, the most distinguished of their number, to 
prohibit Cyrus, in the name of the Lacedeemonians, fi*om 
offering molestation to any city of Greece, since they 
would not allow it. 

153. Cyrus is said, on hearing the speech of the 
herald, to have asked some Greeks who were standing 
by, ** Who these Lacedeemonians were, and what was 
their number, that they dared to send him such a no- 
tice?"* When he bad received their reply, he turned 
to the Spartan herald and said, " I have never yet 
been afraid of any men, who have a set place in tho 
middle of their city, where they come together to 
cheat each other and forswear themselves. If I live, 
the Spartans shall have troubles enough of their own 
to talk of, without concerning themselv^ about the 
lonians." Cyrus intended these words as a reproach 
against all the Greeks, because of their having market- ' 
places where they buy and sell, which is a custom 
unknown to the Persians, who never make purchases 
in open marts, and indeed have not in their whole 
country a single market-place.^ 

* Compare v, 73 and lOS. I tioDB of shopti, Inke their place. The 

' Mukets io the atrict sense of the Persians or the Dobler closa would 

nord are still unknoivn in the East, neither buy Dor sell at all, since they 

where the hazaars, which are collec- ! would be supplied by their dependents 



Book I. 

After this interview Cyrus quitted Sardis, leaving 
the city under the charge of Tabalus, a Persian, but 
appointing PactyasJ a native, to collect the treasure 
belonging to Croesus and the other Lydians, and bring 
it after him/ Cyrus himself proceeded towards Agba- 
tana, carrying Croesus along with him, not regarding 
the lonians as important enough to be his immediate 
object. Larger designs were in his mind. He wished 
to war in person against Babylon, the Bactrians, the 
Sacae," and Egypt ; he therefore determined to assign 
to one of his generals the task of conquering the 

154. No sooner, however, was Cyrus gone from 
Sardis than Pactyas induced his countrymen to rise in 
open revolt against him and his deputy Tabalus. With 
the vast treasures at his disposal he then went down to 
the sea, and employed them in hiring mercenary troops, 

and through presents with all that 
they required for the common pur- 
poses of life. (Cf. Strab. xv. p. 1042, 
dyopas ovx Sarrovrai' oihrf yap ira>kov- 
ariy oirr avovvTM,) Those of lower 
rank would buy at the shops, which 
were not allowed in the Forum, or 
public place of meeting (Xen. Cyrop. 
I. ii. § 3). 

* Hceren (As. Nat. i. p. 338, E. T.) 
regards this as the appointment of a 
native satrap, and dates the division 
of offices, which obtained in later 
times, from the very beginnipg of the 
conquests of Cyrus. But it does not 
appear that Pactyas had any perma- 
nent office. He was to collect the 
treasures of the conquered people, 
and bring them (ico/xtffii') with him 
to Ecbatana. Tabalus ap])ears to have 
been left the sole governor of Sardis. 

• Ctesias placed the conquest of the 
Bactrians and the Sacae before the 
capture of Croesus (Persic. Excerpt. 
§ 2-4). Herodotus appears to have 
regarded their subjection as taking 

lace between the Lydian and the 
ibylonian wars. (Vide infra, ch. 

177.) Bactria may be regarded as 
fairly rei)resented by the modem 
Balkh. The Saca? (Scyths) are more 
difficult to locate ; it only appears that 
their country bordered upon and lay 
beyond Bactria. Probably the sixteen 
years which intervened between the 
capture of Sardis (b.c. 554) and the 
taking of Babylon (b.c. 538) were 
occupied with those extensive con- 
quests to the north and north-east, 
by which the Hyrcanians, ParthiaDs, 
Sogdians, Arians of Herat, Sarangians, 
Chorasmians, Gandarians, &c. (as well 
as the Bactrians and the Sac«e), were 
brought under the Persian yoke. At 
least there is no reason to believe these 
tribes to have formed any part either 
of the ancient Persian kingdom (supra, 
ch. 125) or of the Median empire. 

[Pliny (lib. vi. c. 23) has pre- 
served a tradition of the destruction of 
Capissa, in Capissene, at the foot of 
the Median Caucasus (^Kafshdn, in the 
district of Kohutdn, north of Cabul), 
by Cyrus in one of his expeditions to 
the eastward. — H. C. R.] 

Chap. 154-156. 



while at the same time he engaged the people of the 
coast to enrol themselves in his army. He then 
inarched upon Sardis, where he besieged Tabalus, who 
shut himself up in the citadel. 

155. When Cyrus, on his way to Agbatana, received 
these tidings, he turned to Croesus and said, " Where 
will all this end, Croesus, thinkest thou ? It seemeth 
that these Lydians will not cease to cause trouble both to 
themselves and others. I doubt me if it were not best 
to sell them all for slaves. Methinks what I have now 
done is as if a man were to * kill the father and then 
spare the child.'** Thou, who wert something more 
than a father to thy people, I have seized and carried off, 
and to that people I have entrusted their city. Can I 
then feel surprise at their rebellion ?" Thus did Cyrus 
open to Croesus his thoughts ; whereat the latter, full 
of alarm lest Cyrus should lay Sardis in ruins, replied 
as follows : " Oh ! niy king, thy words are reasonable ; 
but do not, I beseech thee, give full vent to thy anger, 
nor doom to destruction an ancient city, guiltless alike 
of the past and of the present trouble. I caused the one, 
and in my own person now pay the forfeit. Pactyas 
has caused the other, he to whom thou gavest Sardis in 
charge ; let him bear the punishment. Grant, then, 
forgiveness to the Lydians, and to make sure of their 
never rebelling against thee, or alarming thee more, 
send and forbid them to keep any weapons of war, 
command them to wear tunics under their cloaks, and 
to put buskins upon their legs, and make them bring 
up their sons to cithern-playing, harping, and shop- 
keeping. So wilt thou soon see them become women 
instead of men, and there will be no more fear of their 
revolting from thee." 

156. Croesus thought the Lydians would even so be 

•• The licence by which Cyrus is 
made to quote the Greek poet Stasinus 
is scarcely defensible. (For the line 

referred to, see Aristot. Rhet. ii. 21, 
and Clem. Al. Strom, vi. p. 747.) 



Book I. 

better off than if they were sold for slaves, and there- 
foi^ gave the above advice to Cyrus, knowing that, 
unless he brought forward some notable suggestion, he 
would not be able to persuade him to alter his min J. 
He was likewise afraid lest, after escaping the danger 
which now pressed, the Lydians at some future time 
might revolt from the Persians and so bring themselves 
to ruin. The advice pleased Cyrus, who consented to 
forego his anger and do as Croesus had said. There- 
upon he summoned to his presence a certain Mede, 
Mazares by name, and charged him to issue orders to 
the Lydians in accordance with the terms of Croesus' 
discourse. Further, he commanded him to sell for 
slaves all who had joined the Lydians in their attack 
upon Sardis, and above aught else to be sure that he 
brought Paciyas with him alive 6n his return. Having 
given these orders Cyrus continued his journey towards 
the Persian territory. 

157. Pactyas, when news came of the near approach 
of the army sent against him, fled in terror to Cym^. 
Mazares, therefore, the Median general, who had 
marched on Sardis with a detachment of the army of 
Cyrus, finding on his arrival that Pactyas and his 
troops were gone, immediately entered the town. And 
first of all he forced the Lydians to obey the orders of his 
master, and change (as they did from that time) their 
entire manner of living.* Next, he despatehed messen- 
gers to Cym6, and required to have Pactyas delivered 
up to him. On this the Cymaeans resolved to send to 
BranchidsB and ask the advice of the god. Branchidae* 

• Mr.Grote Tvol. iv. p. 268) observes 
with reason, tkiat '* the conversation 
here reported, and the deliberate plan 
for enervating the Lydian character 
supposed to be pursued by Cyrus, is 
evidently an hypothesis to explain 
the contrast between the Lydians 
whom the Greeks saw before them, 
After two or three generations of 

slavery, and the old irresistible horse- 
men of whom they had heard in 
fame." This is far better than, with 
Heeren (As. Nat. vol. i. p. 341), to 
regard such treatment of a conquered 
people as part of the regular system 
of the Persian despotism. 

^ The temple of Apollo at Bran- 
chidas and the port PanoimtMS still xe- 

CBap. 157-169. 



is sttnated in tbe temtory of Kiletus, above the port 
of Panormtia. There was an oracle there, established 
in very ancient times, which both the lonians and 
^oliana were wont often to consult. 

158. Hither therefore the Cynueans sent their depti- 
ties to make inquiry at the shrine, " What the goda 
would like them to do with tbe Lydian, Pactyas ?" The 
oracle told them, in reply, to give hipi up to the Fer^ 
elans. With this answer the messengers returned, and 
the people of Cym^ were ready to surrender him ac- 
cordingly ; but aa they were preparing to do so, Aris- 
todicus, son of Heraclides, a citizen of distinction, 
hindered them. He declared that he distruBted the 
response, and believed that the messengers bad reported 
it falsely ; until at last another embassy, of which Ari»- 
todicus himself made part, was despatched, to repeat the 
former inquiry concerning Pactyas. 

159. On their arrival at the shrine of the god, Aris- 

main, Tbe former la twelve miles 
fVom Hiletus, nearly due south. It 
lies near the shore, about two miles 
inland from Cape Sfo/wdetuiri. It 
ia a m^aifioent ruin of Ionic arohi- 
tectnre. fir. Chandler aaya of it : 



"Tbe memory of the pleasure which 
this spot afToraed me will not be soon 
ot easily erased. The columns yet 
eatire are ho exquisitely fine, the 
maible mass so vast and noble, tbat 

it is impossible perhaps to conceive 
greater beauty and majesty of min." 
(Travels, vol. i, ch. iliii. p. 174.) A 
liue view of the ruins is given by H. 
Teiier (Asie Hineure, vol. iL opp. 
p. 32tl), and a tolerable one in the 
Ionian Antiquities published by tbe 
Dilettanti Society (vol. i. plate 2). 
Tbe temple appears to have been, 
next to that of Diana at Ephesns, the 
largest of tbe Asiatic fanes. (Se« 
Leake's Asia Minor, Notes, p. 348.) 
Only three of the pillars are now 
standing. (Texier, vol. i. p. 45.!) 

The port of Panormus was aisco- 
vered by Dr. Chandler in tbe vicinity 
of the temple. " In descending from 
tbe mountain toward tbe gulf," he 
says, " I bad remarked in the sea 
something white, — and going after- 
wards to examine it, found the remuns 
of a circular pier belonging to tbe 
port, which was called Panormus. 
The stones, which are marble, and 
about lix /eel in diameter, extend 
from near the shore, where are traces 
of buildings." (ib. p. 173.) 



todiciiA, sfpesJdng on behalf of idie whole bodr, ihaa 
addreased the oracle : ^ Oh ! king, Pactvas the Lyiiiany 
threatened bv the Persians with a violent deaths has 
come to Hfl for aanctnarv, and lo, thev Oj^k him at oar 
handa, calling npon our nation to deliver him up. 
Now, thongh we greatly dread the Persian power, yet 
have we not been bold to give np onr suppliant, till we 
have certain knowledge of thy mind, what thoa wooldst 
have ns to do.^ The oracle thus questioned gave the 
flame answer aa before, bidding them surrender Pactyas 
to the Persians ; whereupon Aristodicus, who had come 
prepared for such an answer, proceeded to make the 
circuit of the temple, and to take all the nests of young 
sparrows and other birds that he could find about the 
building. As he was thus employed, a voice, it is said, 
came forth from the inner sanctuary, addressing Aristo- 
dicus in these words : ^^ Most impious of men, what is 
this thou hast the face to do ? Dost thou tear my sup- 
pliants from my temple ?' Aristodicus, at no loss for a 
reply, rejoined, " Oh, king, art thou so ready to protect 
thy suppliants, and dost thou command the Cymseans to 
give up a suppliant ?" " Yes,'' returned the god, " I do 
command it, that so for the impiety you may the sooner 
perish, and not come here again to consult my oracle 
about the surrender of suppliants." 

160. On the receipt of this answer the Cymseans, 
tmwilling to bring the threatened destruction on them- 
selves by giving up the man, and afraid of having to 
endure a siege if they continued to harbour him, sent 
Pactyas away to MytilSn^. On this Mazares despatched 
envoys to the Mytilenseans to demand the fugitive of 
them, and they were preparing to give him up for a 
reward (I cannot say with certainty how large, as the 
bargain was not completed), when the Cymaeans, hear- 
ing what the Mytilenseans were about, sent a vessel to 
Lesbos, and conveyed away Pactyas to Chios. From 
ce it was that he was surrendered. The Chians 


dragged him from the temple of Minerva Poliuchus* 
and gave him up to the Persians, on condition of re- 
ceiving the district of Atameus, a tract of Mysia oppo- 
site to Lesbos,* as the price of the surrender.^ Thus 
did Pactyas fall into the hands of his pursuers, who 
kept a strict watch upon him, that they might be able 
to produce him before Cyrus. For a long time after- 
wards none of the Chians would use the barley of Atar- 
neus to place on the heads of victims, or make sacrificial 
cakes of the com grown there, but the whole produce 
of the land was excluded from all their temples. 

161. Meanwhile Mazares, after he had recovered 
Pactyas from the Chians, made war upon those who 
had taken part in the attack on Tabalus, and in the 
first place took Prien^ and sold the inhabitants for 
slaves, after which he overran the whole plain of the 
Maeander and the district of Magnesia,* both of which 
he gave up for pillage to the soldiery. He then sud- 
denly sickened and died. 

162. Upon his death Harpagus was sent down to the 
coast to succeed to his command. He also was of the 

• That is, "Minerva, Guardian of 
the citadel," which was the TroXir (icar* 
t^ovriv) of each city. Not only at 
Athens, but among the Ionian cities 
generally, there was a temple of Mi- 
nerva Ca^^w;) within the precincts 
of the Acropolis. Homer even pute 
one in the citadel of Ilium. ( Iliad, vi. 

• Atameus lay to the north of the 
JSolis of Herodotus, almost exactly op- 
posite to Mytil6n^. There was a town 
of the same name within the territory. 
Its vicinity to the river Caicus is in- 
dicated below (vi. 28). It continued 
in later times to be Chian territory. 
(See the story of Hermotimus, viii, 
106, and cf. Scykx. Peripl. p. 88.) 

• The Pseudo- Plutarch ascribes the 
whole of this narrative to the 'ma- 
lignity' of Herodotus (De Malign. 
Herod., p. 869), and quotes Charon 
of Lampsacus as conclusive against 

VOL. I. 

its truth. But the silence of Charon 
proves nothing, and the passage 
quoted is quite consistent with the 
statements made by Herodotus. 
There is no need, with Bahr 
Hn loc.), to dispute the veracity of 
Charon. Charon wrote— -" Pactyas, 
when he heard of the approach of the 
Persian army, fled first to Mytil6n^, 
afterwards to Chios. Cyrus however 
obtained possession of him." A man 
might write so, believing all that He* 
rodotus relates. See Mr. Grote's note 
(vol. iv. p. 270). 

' Not Magnesia under Sipylua, but 
Magnesia oti the Mceander, one of the 
few ancient Greek settlements situated 
far inland. Its site is the modem 
Inekbazar (not Guzel-hissar, as Chan- 
dler supposed, which is Tralles) on the 
north side of the Mseander, about one 
mile and a half from it, and thirty miles 
from the sea. (Leake, pp. 243-245.) 



Book I. 

race of tbe Medes, being the man whom the Median 
king, Astyages, feasted at the unholy banquet, and who 
lent his aid to place Cyrus upon the throne. Appointed 
by Cyrus to conduct the war in these parts, he entered 
Ionia, and took the cities by means of mounds. Forcing 
the enemy to shut themselves up within their defences, 
he heaped mounds of earth against their walls,' and 
thus carried the towns. Phocsea was the city against 
which he directed his first attack. 

163. Now the Phocceans were the first of the Greeks 
who performed long Voyages, and it was they who 
made the Greeks acquainted with the Adriatic and 
with Tyrrhenia, with Iberia, and the city of Tartessos.^ 
The vessel which they used in their voyages was not 
the round-built merchant-ship, but the long penteconter* 
On their arrival at Tartessus, the king of the country, 
whose name was Arganth6nius, took a liking to them. 
This monarch reigned over the Tartessians for eighty 
years,* and lived to be a hundred and twenty years old* 
He regarded the Phocseans with so much favour as, at 
first, to beg them to quit Ionia and settle in whatever 

• Tliis plan seems not to have been 
known to the Lydians. The Persians 
had learnt it, in all probability, from 
the Assyrians, by whom it had long 
been practised. (2 Kings xix. 32. 
Isaiah xxxvii. 33. Layard's Nineveh 
and Babylon, pp. 73, 149, &c.) A 
detailed account of this mode of attack 
and the way of meeting it, is given 
by Thiicyd. (ii. 75-6). 

* The Iberia of Herodotus is the 
Spanish Peninsula. Tartessus was a 
colony founded there very early by 
the Phoenicians. It was situated be- 
yond the Straits, at the mouth of the 
Ba'tis (^Guadaiqiiivir)^ near the srte of 
the modem Cadiz. ^Strabo, iii. p. 193.) 
1'arsus, Tartessus, Tarshish, are va- 
riants of the same word. [ Tarshish in 
tlie Ham i tic tongue, which probably 

Jjuxa^d on the coast of Phoenicia 
^if^^^Hhe first colonists sailed for 
j^^ ^HMUit " the younger brother " 

— a very suitable name for a colony. 
— H. C. R.J 

» Pliny (vii. 48) says Anacreon 
gave him a life of 150 years, and 
mentions other reigns of 160 and 200, 
which he thinks fabulous ; but hd 
considers the 80 years of Arganthd- 
nius certain. He calls him king of 
Tartessus, and of Gades, as Cicero does 
(de Senect. 19). In point of age 
Arganth6nius was moderate compared 
to the lllyrian Dando, who (Plin. ib.) 
lived 500 years.— [G. W.J Phlegon 
of Tralles also mentioned the 160 
years of Arganthonius in his tract 
concerning lonti;-lived persons (Ocpl 
fiaKpo^iiop). Except the Erythnean 
Sibyl, who had lived a thousand 
years (!), it was, he said, the ex- 
tremest case of longevity upon record. 
See his fragments in Muller's Fragm, 
Hist. Gr. vol. iii. p. 610. Fr. 29. 

• Chap. 163-166. CONDUCT OF THE PHOC^ANS. 299' 

part of his country they liked. Afterwards, finding 
that he could not prevail upon them to agree to this, 
and bearing that the Mede was growing great in their 
neighbourhood, he gave them money to build a wall 
about their town, and certainly he must have given it 
with a bountiful hand, for the town is many furWgs in 
circuit, and the wall is built entirely of great blocks of 
stone skilfully fitted together.* The wall, then, was 
built by his aid. 

164. Harpagus, having advanced against the Pho- 
caana with his army, laid siege to their city, first, 
however, offering them terms. "It would content 
him," he said, ** if the Phocseans would agree to throw 
down one of their battlements, and dedicate one dwell- 
ing-house to the king." The Phocseans, sorely vexed 
at the thought of becoming slaves, asked a single day 
to deliberate on the answer they should return, and 
besought Harpagus during that day to draw off his 
forces from the walls. Harpagus replied, "that he 
understood well enough what they were about to do, 
but nevertheless he would grant their request." Ac- 
cordingly the troops were withdrawn, and the Phocseans 
forthwith took advantage of their absence to launch 
their penteconters, and put on board their wives and 
children, their household goods, and even the images 
of their gods, with all the votive offerings from the 
fanes, except the paintings and the works in stone or 
brass, which were left behind. With the rest they 
embarked, and putting to sea, set sail for Chios. The 
Persians, on their return, took possession of an empty 

165. Arrived at Chios, the Phocseans made offers 

< it is evident from this that, despite 
the two destructions by Harpagus, and 
the generals of Darius (infra, vi. 32), 
the old Phocsea continued to exist in 
the time of Herodotus. It does not 
seem certain when the new city within 

the Smymean Gulf (New Fogad) 
superseded the old city in the bay of 
Cym^, of which some traces still 
remain at Falaa-Fogaa, (Chandler, i. 
p. 88.) 

X 2 


for the purchase of the islands called the (Enussse,^ but 
the Chians refused to part with them, fearing lest the 
Phocseans should establish a factory there, and exclude 
their merchants from the commerce of those seas. On 
their refusal, the Phocaeans, as Arganthonius was now 
dead, made up their minds to sail to Cymus (Corsica), 
where, twenty years before, following the direction of 
an oracle,* they had founded a city, which was called 
Alalia. Before they set out, however, on this voyage 
they sailed once more to Phocaea, and surprising the 
Persian troops appointed by Harpagus to garrison the 
town, put them all to the sword. After this they laid 
the heaviest curses on the man who should draw back 
and forsake the armament ; and having dropped a heavy 
mass of iron into the sea, swore never to return to 
Phocsea till that mass reappeared upon the surface. 
Nevertheless, as they were preparing to depart for 
Cymus, more than half of their number were seized 
with such sadness and so great a longing to see once 
more their city and their ancient hom6s, that they broke 
the oath by which they had bound themselves and 
sailed back to Phocaea. 

166. The rest of the Phocaeans, who kept their oath, 
proceeded without stopping upon their voyage, and 
when they came to Cymus established themselves along 
with the earlier settlers at A lalia and built temples in 
the place. For five years they annoyed their neigh- 

f The (Enussffi lay between Chios 
and the niain-lund, opix)site the north- 
ern extremity of that island (Lat. 
38° 31/). They are the modem iS>a/- 
madori, five in number. One is of 
much larger size than the rest, which 
explains the statements of Pliny and 
Stephen of Byzantium, that (Enussse 
was an island. There is an excellent 

• A most important influence was 
exercised by the Greek oracles, espe- 
cially that of Delphi, over the course 

Hellenic colonisation. Further in- | noiria-as Miv r»v yo/A((o/Acy«»ir.} 

stances occur, iv. 155, 157, 159; v, 
42. In connexion with this last 
passage, Herodotus lets fall a remark 
which shows that it was almost the 
invariable practice to consult the 
oracle as to the place to be colonised. 
Dorieus, he says, on first leading out 
his colony from Sparta, " neither took 
counsel of the oracle at Delphi, as to 
the plac« whereto he should go, nor 
observed any of the customary usages." 
(o0rc T^ €V AcX<^ot(ri ;(pi;(m;pi^ XP^ 
frdiiivoSf €s rjimva yrjv Kritroav tjjy oUrt 


bours hj plundering and pillaging on all sides, until 
at length the Carthaginians and Tyrrhenians* leagued 
against them, and sent each a fleet of sixty ships to 
attack the town. The Phocseans, on their part, manned 
aU their vessels, sixty in number, and met their enemy 
on the Sardinian sea. In the engagement which fol- 
lowed the Phocseans were victorious, but their success 
was only a sort of Cadmeian victory.*® They lost forty 
ships in the battle, and the twenty which remained 
came out of the engagement with beaks so bent and 
blunted as to be no longer serviceable. The Phocaeans 
therefore sailed back again to Alalia, and taking their 
wives and children on board, with such portion of their 
goods and chattels as the vessels could bear, bade adieu 
to Cymus and sailed to Rhegium. 

• The nayal power of the Tyrrhe- 
luans was about this time at its height. 
Populonia and Cser^ Tor Agylla) were 
the most important ot their maritime 
towns. Like the Greeks at a some- 
what earlier period (Thucyd. i. 5), 
the Tyrrhenians at this time and for 
some centuries afterwards were pi- 
rates (Strabo, v. p. 310 and vi. p. 385. 
Diod. Sic. XV. 14 ; Ephorus 52, ed. 
Didot; Aristid. Rhod. ii. p. 798). 
Corsica probably was under their 
dominion before the Phocasans made 
their settlement at Alalia. Its foun- 
dation would be a declaration of hosti- 
lities. The after-coming of a fresh 
body of emigrants, with a powerful 
navy^ would still further exasperate 
the Tyrrhenians. Hitherto they had 
shared the commerce of the Western 
half of the Mediterranean with the 
Carthaginians. The Phocoean voyages 
to Tartessus, which had for secu- 
rity's sake to be performed in ships of 
war instead of merchantmen (supra, 
ch. 163), cannot have interfered much 
with their mercantile operations. It 
was different when Phocaea attempted 
to set itself up as a third power in the 
seas, which the Tyrrhenians regarded 
as their own, or at least as theirs con- 
jointly with the Carthaginians. The 
insignificant settlement at Massilia, 

which maintained itself with difBcultv 
(Li v. V. 34), had been perhaps beneath 
their jealousy. It was founded as early 
as B.C. 600 (Scymnus Chius, 215-8). 
Alalia, founded about B.C. 572, exactly 
opix)site their coast, and on an island 
which they claimed as theirs, and 
now raised by the fresh colonisation 
to great importance, was a most 
dangerous rival. Hence the attack of 
the two great maritime powers upon 
the interloper. The Phocaeans were 
swept away, and the Tyrrhenians 
resumed their former position and 
conduct, till Hiero of Syracuse, pro- 
voked by their piracies and pillage of 
Greek cities, broke their power in the 
great battle of which Pindar sings 
(Pyth. i. 137-41). This was B.C. 474. 
(Clinton, F. H. vol. ii. p. 36.) 

^ A Cadmeian victory was one from 
which the victor received more hurt 
than profit (Suidas in voc. Kad/xcia 
iflicrj). Plutarch derives the proverb 
from the combat between Polynices 
and Eteocles (De Amor. Frat. p. 488, 
A.) ; Eustathius from the victory of 
the Thebans over the Seven Chiefs, 
which only produced their after defeat 
by the Epigoni (ad Hom. II. iv. 407) 
Arrian used the phrase in an entirely 
different sense. (Fr. 66.) 



Book I. 

167. The Carthaginians and Tyrrhenians, who had 
got into their hands many more than the Phocseans 
from among the crews of the forty vessek that were 
destroyed, landed their captives upon the coast after 
the fight, and stoned them ail to death. Afterwards, 
when sheep, or oxen, or even men of the district of 
Agylla passed by the qx)t where the murdered Pho* 
caaans lay, their bodies became distorted, or they 
were seized with palsy, or they lost the use of some 
of their limbs. On this the people of AgyUa sent 
to DelpM to ask the oracle how they might expiate 
their sin.^ The answer of the Pythoness reqtdred 
them to institute the custom, which they still observe, 
of honouring the dead Phoc^ans with magnificent 
funeral rites, and solemn games, both gymnic and eqnes^ 
trian. Such, then, was the fate that befel the Phocaean 
prisoners. The other Phocaeans, who had fled to Rhe- 
gium, became after a while the founders of the city 
called Vela,* in the district of (Enotria, This city they 
colonised, upon the showing of a man of Posidonia,* 
who suggested that the oracle had not meant to bid 
them set up a town in Cyrnus the island, but set up 
the worship of Cyrnus the hero.* 

* Niebuhr dniwg two conclusions of 
ttome importance from this narrative— 
first, that Agylla had not yet been 
conquered by the Etruscans, but was 
purely Tyrrhenian, t. c. (according to 
nis notion) Pelasgic. Otherwise, he 
says, they would have been content 
with their own haruspicy, and would 
not have sent to Delphi. Secondly, 
that in this war the Agyllffians were 
not assisted by any of their neigh- 
bours, since the divine judgment fell 
on them alone (Rom. Hist. vol. i. p. 
124. £. T.). But if the massacre took 
place on their territory, as it evidently 
did, the jud^^ment, being attached to 
the scene of the slaughter, could only 
affect to any extent the inhabitants of 
the district. 

' This is the town more commonly 

called Yelia or Elea, where soon after- 
wards the great Eleatic school of phi- 
losophy arose. It is conjectured that 
the Phocaeans were "joined by other 
exiles from Ionia, in particular by the 
Golophonian philosopher and poet 
Xenophanes." (Grote's History of 
Greece, vol. iv. p. 276.) There seems 
to be no doubt that Xenophanes was 
one of the foimders of the school (Plat. 
Sophist, ad init. Clem. Alex. Strom, i. 
p. 301), but the time at which he lived 
is very uncertain. (Cf. Clinton's F. H. 
vol. ii. pp. 15, 35.) 

* This is the place now known as 
Pcestumy so famous for its beautiful 
ruins. (See Strab. v. p. 361.) 

* Cyrnus was a son of Hercules 
(Servius ad Virg. Eclog. ix. 30). 



168. Thus fared it with the men of the city of 
Phocsea in Ionia. They of Teos* did and sufifered almost 
the same ; for they too, when Harpagus had raised his 
mound to the height of their defences, took ship, one 
and all, and sailing across the sea to Thrace, founded 
there the cily of Abd^ra.* The site was one which 
Tim^ius of ClazomenaB had previously tried to colonise, 
but without any lasting success, for he was expelled by 
the Thracians. Still the Teians of Abd^ra worship him 
to this day as a hero. 

169. Of all the lonians these two states alone, rather 
than submit to slavery, forsook their fatherland. The 
others (I except Miletus) resisted Harpagus no less 
bravely than those who fled their country, and perr 
formed many feat, of an«, each fighting ii' their Z, 
defence, but one after another they suffered defeat; 
.the cities were taken, and the inhabitants submitted, 
remaining in their respective countries, and obeying 
the behests of their new lords. Miletus, as I have 
already mentioned, had made terms with Cyrus, and so 
continued at peace. Thus was continental Ionia once 
more reduced to servitude ; and when the lonians of 
the islands saw their brethren upon the main,land sub- 
jugated, they also, dreading the like, gave themselves 
up to Cyrus.' 

* Teos was situated on the south 
side of the isthmus which joined the 
peninsula of ErythrsB to the main 
land, very nearly opposite Olazomenas 
(Strab. xiv. p. 922). It was the 
birthplace of Anacreon, and according 
to Strabo(ibid.) of Hecata^us the chro- 
nicler. Considerable remains of it, 
especially a temple of Bacchus and 
a theatre, still exist near Sighajik, 
(Chandler's Travels, ch. xxvii. p. Ill ; 
Leake's Asia Minor, p. dSO.*) 

A certain number of the Teians 
returned to their native city (Strab. 
1. s. c), which rose from its ruins and 
became once more an important place. 

In the Ionian revolt the Teians fur- 
nished seventeen ships to thecombined 
fleet (infra, vi. 8), when the Phoca^ans 
could only furnish three. 

• For the site of Abdfira, vide infra, 
vii. 109. 

7 This statement appears to be 
too general. Samoa certainly main- 
tained her independence till the reign 
of Darius ^vide infra, iii. 120). ite 
efforts of the Cnidians to turn their 
peninsula into an island (infra, ch. 174) 
would show that an insular position 
was still regarded as a security. Pro- 
bably Rhodes and Cos continued free. 
The ground which Herodotus had for 



Book I. 

170. It was while the lonlans were in this distress, 
but still, amid it all, held their meetings, as of old, at 
the Panionium, that Bias of Pri^n^, who was present at 
the festival, recommended (as I am informed) a project 
of the very highest wisdom, which would, had it been 
embraced, have enabled the lonians to become the hap- 
piest and most flourishing of the Greeks. He exhorted 
them " to join in one body, set sail for Sardinia, and 
there found a single Pan-Ionic city; so they would 
escape from slavery and rise to great fortune, being 
masters of the largest island in the world,* and exer- 
cising dominion even beyond its boimds; whereas if 
they stayed in Ionia, he saw no prospect of their ever 
recovering their lost freedom." Such was the counsel 
which Bias gave the lonians in their affliction. Before 
their misfortunes began, Thales, a man of Miletus, of 
Phoenician descent, had recommended a different plan. 
He counselled them to establish a single seat of govern- 
ment, and pointed out Teos as the fittest place for it, 
** for that," he said, " was the centre of Ionia. Their 
other cities might still continue to enjoy their own 
laws, just as if they were independent states." This 
also was good advice. 

171. After conquering the lonians, Harpagus pro- 
ceeded to attack the Carians, the Caxmians, and the 
Lycians. The lonians and Cohans were forced to 

his' statement appears to Iiave been 
^e fact that Lesbos and Chios came 
to terms, acknowledging the Persian 
hegemony. They did so to preserve 
their possessions upon the main-land. 
(Supra, ch. 160 ; infra, v. 94.) 

' Herodotus appears to have been 
entirely convinced that there was no 
island in the world so large as Sar- 
dinia. He puts the assertion into 
the mouth of Histiseus (v. 106), and 
again (vi. 2) repeats the statement, 
without expressing any doubt of the 
|ict. We need not be surprised that 

was not aware of the size of the 

British Islands Tthe Cassiterides, with 
which the Carthaginians traded, iii. 
US'), since the south coast was pro- 
bably all that the Carthaginians them- 
selves had visited ; but it does seem 
extraordinary that he should have 
lived so long in Italy, and been igno- 
rant that Sicily was a larger island 
than Sardinia. Dahlmann (Life of 
Herod, ch. iv. § 1) judges more 
soundly than Bahr (Note to Herod, 
i. 170) on this matter. Concerning 
the continuance of this mistake in 
later times, see note on Book v. 
ch. 106. 



serve in his army. Now, of the above nations the 
Garians are a race who came into the mainland from 
the islands.* In ancient times they were subjects of 
king Minos, and went by the name of Leleges,^ dwelling 
among the isles, and, so far as I have been able to 
push my inquiries, never liable to give tribute to any 
man. They served on board the ships of king Minos 
whenever he required ; and thus, as he was a great 
conqueror and prospered in his wars, the Carians were 
in his day the most famous by far of all the nations 
of the earth. They likewise were the inventors of 
three things, the use of which was borrowed from them 
by the Greeks ; they were the first to fasten crests 
on helmets* and to put devices on shields, and they 
also invented handles for shields.* In the earlier times 
shields were without handles, and their wearers man- 
aged them by the aid of a leathern thong, by which 
they were slimg round the neck and left shoulder.* 

• The early occupation of the Cy- 
clades by the Garians is asserted by 
Thucydides (i. 8), who adduces as 
proof the fact that when the Athe- 
nians purified Delos by the removal 
of all corpses buried in the island, 
above half the bodies disinterred were 
found to be Carian. This was appa- 
rent by the manner of their sepulture. 

' Most ancient writers distinguished 
the Carians from the Leleges (Hom. 
II. X. 428-9 ; Pherecyd. Fr. Ill ; Phi- 
lipp. Theang. Fr. 1 ; Strab. vii. p. 465). 
The latter appear to have been one 
of the chief of those kindred races, 
generally called Pelasgian, which first 
peopled Greece. They are not, how- 
ever, so much a tribe of the Pelasgians, 
as a sister people. Tradition extends 
them in early times from Lycia to 
Acamania. Besides these two coun- 
tries, where they are placed by Aris- 
totle rFrag. 127) and Philip of Thean- 
gela (Fr. 3), we find them in Caria 
(ib. Fr. 1 ; Strab. xiv. p. 945), in 
Mount Ida (Nymph. Fr. 10), in Samos 
(Menodot. Fr. 1), in Chios (Pherecyd. 

I. 8. c), in Thessaly (Suid. ap. Steph. 
Byz. ad voc. "Afivpos), in Megara 
(Pausan. iv. xxxvi. § 1), in Bo^tia 
(Arist. Ft. 103), in Locris (ib. and 
Fr. 127), in ^tolia (Fr. 127), in La- 
conia (Pausan. in. i. § 1), and in 
Leucas (Arist. Fr. 127). That they 
formed a portion of the ancient inha- 
bitants of Crete is also not improbable. 
(See, besides this passage of Herodotus, 
Strab. xiv. p. 945.) They seem to 
have approached far more nearly to 
the Pelasgic character than the Carians, 
who belonged rather to the Asiatic 
type. When the Carians, driven fi-om 
the islands of the iCgean by the 
Greeks, fell back upon the continent, 
they found Leleges still occup3ring 
the coast, whom they oonquerea and 
reduced to the condition of serfs. 
(Strab. 1. 8. c. ; Philip. Theang. Fr. 1.) 

■ See note to Book iv. ch. 180. 

" Alcaeus spoke of the \6<t>os Ka- 
piK6st And Anacreon of the 6xoyo¥ 
KapiKO€py€s (Strab. xiv. p. 945). 

* Homer generally represents his 
heroes as managing their shields in 



Long after tlie time of Minos, the Carians were driven 
£rom the islands by the loniaofi and Dorians, and so 
settled upon the mainland. The above is the acooimt 
which the Cretans give of the Carians : the Carians 
tJtemselvea say very difTerently. They maintain that 
they are the aboriginal inhabitanta of the part of the 
mainland where they now dwell,' and never had any 
otii&c name than that wlueh they still bear: and in 
proof of t^is they show an ancient temple of Carian 
Jove ' in the country of .the Mylasians,' in which the 
Mysiajas and Lydians have the right of worshippiiig, 
as brother raoea to the Carians : for Lydus and Mysus, 
ihey jsay, were brotheis of Car. These nations, there^ 
fore, have the aforesaid right ; but such as are of a 

Bometiinea, however, 
he speakti ot shieldB with handler to 
them (viii. 193), This may be an 

The Sj(aror mogt be dietingniBbed 
fiom the ir6ptrai. The fonner was a, 
bar across the middle of the shiel^, 
through which the arm was put. 'J'he 
latter was a leathern thong ucar the 
lim of the shield, which was grasped 
hj the hand. The annexed illuatro- 
tioa ahowB clearly the diflerence. 

* it seems 'probdble Ibat th« Ca- 
rians, who were a kindred nation 1« 
the Lydiana and the Mysians (see 
the Eaaayj " On the Ethnic Affinities 
of the NationB of Western Asia"), 
belonged originally t« the Aaiabc 
continent, and thence spread to the 
islands. When the Greek colonisa- 
tion of the islands began, the native 
Cahan population would naturally 
fall back npon the main maae of the 
nation which had coutinued in Asit^ 
Thus both the Carian and the Qredc 
accounta would have truth in them, 

* Xanthus seema to have spoken of 
this god under the name of Carius, and 
to have distinguished him from Jupiter. 
Carius, he said, was the son of Jupiler 
and Torrhebia; he waa taught music 
by the Nymphs, and communicated 
the knowledge to the Lydiaus. (Fr.2.) 
The worship of Carius in the district 
of Lydia called Torrhebia, is mentioned 
by IStephen. (ad voc. Tdiptj^y. 

f Mylasa was an inWid town of 
Caria, about 20 miles from the sea. 
It was tbe capital of the later Carian 
kingdom (b.c; 385-334). The name 
slJll continues in the modem Mdatto 
(Chandler, vol. i. p. 234 ; Leake, p. 
;:30), where there are extensive re- 
maiua (FeUows'a Lycia, pp. 6G-75}. 



different race, even tliongh they have come to use the 
Caiian tongue, are excluded from this temple, 

172. The Caunians,® in my judgment, are aborigi- 
nals ; but by their own account they came from Crete. 
In their language, either they have approximated to 
the Carians, or the Carians to them — on this point I 
cannot speak with certainty. In their customs, how- 
ever, they differ greatly from the Carians, and not 
only so, but from all other men. They think it a most 
honourable practice for friends or persons of the same 
age, whether they be men, women, or children, to meet 
together in large companies, for the purpose of drinking 
wine. Again, on one occasion they detemiined that 
they would no longer make use of the foreign temples 
which had been long established among them, but 
would worship their own old ancestral gods alone. 
Then their whole youth took arms, and striking the 
air with their spears, marched to the Calyndic fron- 
tier,* declaring that they were driving out the foreign 

173. The Lycians are in good truth anciently from 
Crete; which island, in former days, was wholly 
peopled with barbarians. A quarrel arising there 

■ The Catmians occupied a small 
district on the coast, which is usually 
said to intervene between Caria and 
Lycia (Scyl. Peripl. p. 92 ; Strab. xiv. 
p. 932). Their coins and architecture 
show them to have been really Ly- 
cians (B'ellows's Lycian Coins, pp. 
5-6). Caunus, their capital, which 
hr.s been identified by an inscription 
(Geograph. Journal, vol. xii. p. 158), 
was situated on the right bank of a 
small stream (now the Aov^ez), which 
carries off the waters of a large lake 
distant about 10 miles inland. There 
are considerable remains, including 
some Avails of Cyclopian masonry. 
Tlie general localities are correctly 
given in Kiei)ert*s Supplementary 
Maps (Berlin, 1851). 

* Calynda was on the borders of 
Caria and Lycia. It is sometimes 
reckoned in the one, sometimes in the 
other (Strab. xiv. 1. s. c. ; Plin. H. K. 
V. 27 ; Ptol. V. 3 ; Steph. Byz. ad 
voc.). Strabo says it was 60 stadia 
(7 miles) from the sea. Eiepert, in 
his Supplementary Maps, places it on 
the DoUomon Chai, the Indus or Cal- 
bis. But no traces of ruins have 
been found on that stream (see the 
Geograph. Joum. xii. p. 162). Sir 
C. Fellows believed that he had dis- 
covered the true site 20 miles east of 
the Galbis, in a mountainous tract 
near the gulf of Makri (Account of 
Discoveries, pp. 103-4). These ruins 
had a decidedly Lycian character, but 
they seem to lie too near the coast. 



between the two sons of Europa, Sarpedon and MinoB, 
as to which of them should be king, Minos, whose 
party prevailed, drove Sarpedon and his followers into 
banishment. The exiles sailed to Asia,' and landed on 
the Milyan territory. Milyas was the ancient name of 
the country now inhabited by the Lycians :' the Milyte 
of the present day were, in those times, called Solymi.* 

* It is doubtrul whethei there is any 
truth at all in this t&le, which would 
conDcct the Greeks with Ljcia- One 
thing is clear, namely, that the real 
Lycian people of history were an 
antjiel)' oistinct race from the Greeks. 
The LycioD art indeed, with which 
moat persona are familiar from the 
epecimons in the British Htueum, 
bears undonbtudly in its general cha- 
racter a coDsiderable reeembl&nce to 
the Greek. But the sculptures which 
belong to the earl)' or purely Lycian 
period have tbe least reaecabUnce, 
being in maav respecU tnore like the 
PerBepolitan (Fellows's Lycia, p. 173). 
And it is not impoBsible that Greetc 
Art may have received an impress 
fiuni Lycia, for Lycian artists would 
naturally flock to Athens during the 

Kvernment of Pericles. Certainly the 
)gnsge of the Lyciana, from which 
tiieir ethnic type can best be judged, 
ia utterly unlike the Greek. It is 
confflderably different in its alphabet, 
nearly half the letters being peculiar. 
In its general cast it is yet more 
unlike, its leading characteristic being 
the number and variety of the vowels, 
and their marked preponderance over 
the consonants. Its roots, where they 
have been satisfactorily made out, 
ate, with scarcely a single exception, 
alien from tho Greek. While un- 
doubtedly Indo-European in type, the 
langu^e must be pronounced as re- 
mote from that of the Greeks as any 
two branches that can be named of 
the common stock. The Indo-Eu- 
ropean tongue to which Lycian ap- 
proaches most nearly ia Zend, but it 
stands to Zend in the relation of a 
sister and not a daughter. If then 
there was any early Greek colonisa- 
^jon of Lycia it must have been in- 

significant, or at any rate the Greek 

element must have been soon sunk and 
merged in the Asiatic. (See Hr. D. 
Sharpe's Letter in Sir CJ. Fellows's 
Lycia, pp. 427 et seqq. ; and compare 
Forbes and Spratt, vol. ii. App. i.} 

* Milyas continued to be a dittriet 
of Lycia in the a^e of Augustus 
(Strabo, xiii. pp. 904-6). It was 
then the high plain (inclcaed by 
Taurus on uie north. Climax and 
Solyma on the east, Massicyttu on 
the south-west, and two tower raogee, 
one joining Taurus and Masdcyliia 
on the north-west, and the other 
Massicytua and Sol] ma on the soutli- 
east) in which stands the modem 
Almaif, the largest town in I^^a, 
and almost the largest in Asia Minor. 
It is a table-land about .4000 feet 
above the sea-level, and has no exit 
for its waters, which form the lake of 
Avelan (Fellows's Lycia, pp. 227-9). 
Sir C. Fellows found in tins district 
a curious monument (figured p. 233), 
on which the word HiXvar occurred. 
The remainder of the inscription was 
unfortunately illegible. 

The Milyans were undoubtedly an 
entirely distinct people from the Ly- 
cians. Tliere are no Lycian remains 
in their country, (See Fellows's Ly- 
cian Coins, Map.) Bochart derives 
their name from 'ttTlD, which ia used 
by the Talmudical writers for " moun- 
tainous places." (Geograph. Sac. p. 
364, 1. 4.) They were probably of 
Semitic origin, (S«e the aext note.) 

• The Solymi were mentioned by 
Chffirilus, who was contemporary with 
Herodotus and wrote a poem on the 
Persian War, as fonning a rart of the 
anny of Xeroses (ap. Euseb. Pnep. Ev. 
ix. 9). He placed tliem among hills 
of the same name along the shores of 



So long as Sarpedon reigned, his followers kept the 
name which they brought with them from Crete, and 
were called Termilae, as the Lycians still are by those 
who live in their neighbourhood.* But after Lycus, 
the son of Pandion, banished from Athens by his bro- 
ther jEgeus, had found a refuge with Sarpedon in the 
country of these Termil®, they came, in course of time, 
to be called from him Lycians/ Their customs are 
partly Cretan, partly Carian. They have, however, 
one singular custom in which they differ from every 
other nation in the world. They take the mother's 
and not the father's name. Ask a Lycian who he is» 
and he answers by giving his own name, that of hi^ 

a broad lake, which Col. Leake cod- 
jectures to have been that of Egerdir 
(Geograph. Journ. xii. p. 165). Their 
language, according to him, was Phoeni- 
cian. Strabo regards both the Milyans 
(xiv. p. 952) and Cabalians (xiii. p. 
904) as Solymi, and considers that a 
people of this name had once held the 
heights of Taurus from Lycia to Pi- 
sidia (i. p. 32). That the Pisidians 
were Solymi is asserted by Pliny (v. 
27) and Stephen (ad voc. nto-idm). 
The same people left their name in 
Lycia to Mount Solyma. Here we 
seem to have a trace of a Semitic oc- 
cupation of these countries preceding 
the Indo-European. (Comp. Hom. II. 
vi. 184.) For additional particulars of 
tlie Solymi see Bochart's Geogr. Sacr. 
I>art II. book i. ch. 6. 

* It would seem by the Lycian 
inscriptions that Termilse (written 
Trameld, TPXMEAA ; compare the 
Tp€fiikai of HecatsBus, Fr. 364, and 
the TpcfuXcTff of Stephen) was not 
only the name by which the Lycians 
were known to their neighbours, 
but the only name by which they 
(or rather their principal tribe) 
called themselves. Lycia and Lycians 
(written Aticm and Aiictot) are found 
in the Oreek portions of the inscrip- 
tions, but in the Lycian there is no 
word at all resembling these. Tra- 
mel6, on the other hmd^ is a name 

of frequent occurrence, and even lin- 
gers in the country at the present 
day. There is a village called Tre- 
milf in the mountains at the extreme 
north of the ancient Lycia» not far from 
the lake of Ghieul Hissar. (See Geo* 
graph. Journ. vol. xii. p. 156 ; Spratt 
and Forbes's Lycia, vol, i. p. 266.) 

Sir G. Fellows thinks that the Ly* 
ciaus, whose real ethnic title is un- 
known to us, were divided into three 
tribes, the Tramelsa, the Troes, and 
the Tekkefae (?), whom he identifies 
with the Caunians of Herodotus. The 
TramelsB were the most important 
tribe occupying all southern Lycia 
from the gulf of Adalia to the valley 
of the Xanthus. Above them on the 
east were the districts called Milyas 
and Gibyratis, inhabited by tribes 
not Lycian ; while the upper part of 
the valley of the Xanthus, and the 
mountain-tract to the westward as 
far as the range which bounds on the 
east the valley of the Galbis, was in* 
habited by the Troes ; and the region 
west of that to the borders of Garia 
by the Tekkefsa. (See the Essay on 
the Goins of Lycia, London, 1855.) 

* This may possibly be so far true 
that the Greek fancy to call the Ter- 
milae Lycians may have originated 
in the emigration of a certain Lycus^ 
at the head of a band of malcontents, 
into these regions. 



Book I. 

mother, and so on in the female line. Moreover, if a 
free woman marry a man who is a slave, their children 
are full citizens ; hut if a free man marr j a foreign 
woman, or live with a concubine, even though he be 
the first person in the State, the children forfeit all the 
rights of citizenship. 

174. Of these nations, the Carians submitted to 
Harpagus without performing any brilliant exploits. 
Nor did the Greeks who dwelt in Caria behave with 
any greater gallantry. Among them were the Cnidians, 
colonists from Lacedaemon, who occupy a district facing 
the sea, which is called Triopium. This region adjoins 
upon the Bybassian Chersonese ; and, except a very small 
space, is surrounded by the sea, being bounded on the 
north by the Ceramic Gulf, and on the south by the 
channel towards the islands of Syme and Rhodes.* 
While Harpagus was engaged in the conquest of Ionia, 
the Cnidians, wishing to make their country an island, 
attempted to cut through this narrow neck of land, which 
was no more than five furlongs across from sea to sea. 
Their whole territory lay inside the isthmus ; for where 
Cnidia ends towards the mainland, the isthmus begins 
which they were now seeking to cut through. The 
work had been commenced, and many hands were em- 
ployed upon it, when it was observed that there seemed 
to be something unusual and unnatural in the number 
of wounds that the workmen received, especially about 

* Herodotus is singular in giving 
the name of Triopium to the whole 
of that long and narrow peninsula 
which lies between the gulfs of Cos 
and Sym6, projecting westward from 
the tract called by Herodotus " the 
Bybassian Chersonese/' which is also 
a peninsula, joined to the mainland 
by an isthmus not more than 10 miles 
across from the Gulf of Cos to that of 
^1 armoric^. The isthmus which unites 
in peninsula to the conti- 
.i^und by Captain Graves to 

be as narrow as stated by Herodotus, 
and traces are even said to have been 
discovered of the attempted canal. 
^Hamilton's Asia Minor, vol. ii. p. 78.) 
Most writers make the Triopium a 
mere cape or promontory {oKpttrripiov) 
in this tract. (Scvlax. p. 91 ; Schol. 
Theocr. xvii. 69;" Thuc. viii. 35.) 
The rendering of the passage (dfr/fUvris 
€K rrjs \€p(Tovr)<Tov r^r Bv^ao'O'ti^r) 
proposed by Larcher and adopted by 
Babr, is quite inadmissible. 



their eyes, from the splintering of the rock. The Cni- 
dians, therefore, sent to Delphi, to inqnire what it was 
that hindered their efforts j and received, according 
to their own account, the following answer from the 
oracle : — 

'^ Fence not the Isthnms off, nor dig it through—' 
Jove would have made an island, had he wished.*' 

So the Cnidians Ceased digging, and when Harpagos 
advanced with his army, they gave themselves up to 
him without striking a blow. 

175. Above Halicamassus, and further from the 
Coast, were the Pedasians.* With this people, when 
any evil is about to befal either themselves or their 
neighbours, the priestess of Minerva grows an ample 
beard; Three times has this marvel happened. They 
alone, of all the dwellers in Caria, resisted Harpagus for 
awhile, and gave him much trouble, maintaining them-> 
selves in a certain mountain called Lida, which they 
had fortified; but in course of time they also were 
forced to submit. 

176. When Harpagus, after these successes, led his 
forces into the Xanthian plain,® the Lycians of Xanthus • 

7 Pedasus was reckoned in Caria 
(infra, v. 121). Its exact site is un- 
certain. 5Sir C. Fellows suggests 
Moolah, near the source of the Cheena 
or Marsyas (Discoveries, p. 2G0, note). 
But this seems too far from Halicar- 
nassus. Kiepert is prohably right in 
placing Pedasus within the Ceramic 
])eiiinsula. (Map xx.) Lida is the 
coast range along the northern shore 
of the Ceramic gulf. Aristotle in his 
History of Animals (iii. 11) notices the 
fact (!) that the Carian priestesses grew 
a beard occasionally (infra, viii. 104). 

^ The Xanthian plain is to the south 
of the city, being in fact the alluvial 
de{)osit of the river Xanthus. It is 
al)out 7 miles across from Uzlan to 
Patara, and from four to five miles 
deep, from the coast to the foot of the 
mountains. The city stands near its 

upper extremity, on the left hank of 
the river. 

* The real name of the city which 
the Greeks called Xanthus seems to 
have been Ama or Arlna. This is 
asserted by Stephen (ad voc. ^Apyo), 
and confirmed by the monuments of 
the country. Arina (AHNA) appears 
upon some of the Lycian coins, which 
show no word resembling Xanthus 
till the purely Greek or post- Alexan- 
drine period, and the same name 
occurs more than once on the great in- 
scribed obelisk from Xanthus, now in 
the British Museum (north side L 13. 
20). Xanthus is properly the name 
of the river. It is a Greek translation 
of the original appellation given to the 
stream ])rabably by the Solymi, which 
was 8irb^ or Sirbes (Strab. xiv. p. 
951 ; Panyasis q). Stcph. Byz. ad voc 


went out to meet him in the field : though hut a small 
band against a numerous host, they engaged in battle, 
and perfonned many glorious exploits. Overpowered 
at last, and forced within their walls, they collected into 
the citadel their wives and children, all their treasures, 
and their slaves ; and having bo done, fired the building, 
and burnt it to the ground. After this, they bound them- 
selves together by dreadful oaths, and sallying forth 
against the enemy, died sword in hand, not one escaping. 
Those Lycians who now claim to be Xanthians, are fo- 
reign immigrants, except eighty families, who happened 
to be absent from the country, and so survived the others. 
Thus was XanthuB taken' by Harpagus,' and Caunua 

TfMft&7 ; EiuUth. ad Horn. II. xii. 
p. 907.30), a Semitic word signifymg 
" yellow " (Bochart, Geog. Sacr. Pari 
n. i. 6). Naming a river from its 
colour is very common in the Eagt. 
Hence the number or Kara-Sue, or 
*' Black waters ; " the Eaiil-Irmak, 
" Bed Biver ;" Kiuk-Su, " Blue 
Hirer," Sic 

Sir G. FellowB ooDJccturcB that the 
name Arina was not given to the city 
till a. little before the time of Alexan- 
der, and that previously it was called 
Koprlle (Coius of Lycia, p. 12), a 
word which appears for oftener than 
any other on the Lycian coiiia. But 
he seems to for^iet tliat Anna is on 
the obelisk, which ia of the time of 
ArUxer:ieH Longimanus. Perhaps 
Koprlle (KOrPAAE) was the name of 
the dittriet whose chief city was Anna. 
(See Coin 7, Plate xii. in his series, 
which bears on one side the inscription 
AW, and on the reverse KOPPAA.) 

' Xanthus defended itself on two 
subsequent occasioim with equal gal- 
lantry : first, against Alenanocr; and 
secondly, gainst the Romans (Vide 
Appian. de Bello Civil., iv. 80, 
p. 633). 

* There is reason to believe that 
the govemmeat of Lycia remuced 
in the family of Earpagus. The 
Xanthian obelisk in the British 
Museum, which aeema to have been 
erected soon after the battle of the 

Enrymedon (b.c. 466), ( 
cord of Caias (or Cailcas), the urn of 
Harpoffia (Greek Inscr., lines 6 and 
13 ; Lycian Inscr. 8.W. side, line 25), 
who appears to have been the ruler of 
the country in the time of Artaxerxes 
LongimnnuB. The deeds of tiie same 
prince are represented upon thetro[diy- 
monument in the Museum, where be 
appears as an Oriental chief, wded 
by Greek mercenaries. It has been 
thought that the curious symbol, 
known as the triquetm, occurring 

upon the Lycian coins, is emblematic 
of the name of the conqueror in 
whose fimiily the government was 
settled (Stewart, in Fellows' Lycian 
Coins, p. 14). The easential element 
of Che emblem is a crook or grappling 
hook, the I^tin harjiago, the Greek 
ipmj, or dpiriryij. Such a play Upon 
words ia not uncommon in a rude 
age. The crook ilself appears on the 
coins of Arpi in Apulia, in manifest 
allusion to the name of the town. And 

Chap. 177, 178. 



fell in like manner into his hands ; for the Caunians in 
the main followed the example of the Lycians. 

177. While the lower parts of Asia were in this way 
brought imder by Harpagus, Cyrus in person subjected 
the upper regions, conquering every nation, and not 
suffering one to escape. Of these conquests I shall pass 
by the greater portion, and give an account of those only 
which gave him the most trouble, and are the worthiest of 
mention. When he had brought all the rest of the con- 
tinent under his sway, he made war on the Assyrians.' 

178. Assyria possesses a vast number of great cities,^ 

our more ancient armorial bearings 
have constantly the same character. 

The obelisk prince, "Gaias, son of 
Harp^us," must not be regarded as 
the actual son, but as a descendant of 
the conqueror. Eighty-seven years 
intervene between tne conquest and 
the battle of the Eurymedon, to which 
the obelisk is posterior. This would 
allow two generations between the 
founder of the family and the builder 
of the obelisk, which may be filled up 
thus :— 

HarpagOB (the oon- *^- X'- 

qoeror) ft53 to 543 ... 10 yean. 

CumCO* bit vui • • • ft43 to 610 ... 33 yean. 
Harpagoi, hit son ... 610 to 477 ... 33 yean. 
Galas, lis son 477 to 444 ... 33 yean. 

There is one objection to this view. 
The commander of the Lycian ships in 
the navy of Xerxes is not Harpagus, 
the son of Gaias, but Cybemiscus, the 
son of Sicas (infra, vii. 98). Cyber- 
niscus should certainly represent the 
chief ruler of Lycia, as Syennesis 
does of Cilicia, and Qorgus of great 
part of Cyprus. Possibly the words 
" son of Harpagus '* on the monument 
mean only ''descendant of Harpagus," 
and the true succession may have 
been — Harpagus, Sicas, Cybemiscus, 
Caias. Or there may have been an 
interruption in the line, consequent 
upon the Gaunian rebellion, which may 
have brought Harpagus II. into dis- 
grace (v. 103), since Gaunus was in- 
cluded in Lycia (supri^ ch. 173, note *), 
and if the iriquetra may be taken for 
a sign, was under the government of 
the Harpagi. 

VOL, I. 

* Herodotus includes Babylonia In 
Assyria (vide supra, ch. 106). He 
seems to have conceived the Median 
conquest of Nineveh quite differently 
from either Gtesias or Berosus. m 
regards Gyaxares as conquering a por- 
tion only of Assyria, and supposes a 
transfer of the seat of government, 
without (apparently) any change of 
dynasty, to Babylon. This is ement 
from the next chapter. There can 
be no doubt that he was mistaken, 
and that the native historian gave a 
truer account. See the Essays ap- 
pended to this Book, Essays iii. and 

^ The large number of important 
cities in Assyria, especially if we in- 
clude in it Babylonia, is one of the 
most remarkable features of Assyrian 

[Grouped around Nineveh were Ga- 
lah {Nimrud), Dur Sargina (Khorsa* 
had), Tarbisa {Shenfkhdn), Arbel 
{ArhilX Ehazeh {Shamdmek), and As- 
shur (Shirgdt). Lower down, the 
banks of the Tigris exhibit an almost 
unbroken line of ruins from Tekrit to 
Baghdad, while Babylonia and Ghal- 
daea are throughout studded with 
mounds from north to south, the re- 
mains of those great capitals of which 
we read in the inscriptions. The 
principal sites are Sittac^ (a doubtful 
position), Opis (Kha/djijy Ghihnad 
(Kdlwddha\ Duraba {Akkerku/\ 
Gutha {Ibrahim), Sippara (Motaib)^ 
Babylon and Borsippa (the modem 
Babel and Sirs), Calneh (Niffer), 



Book I.* 

whereof the most renowned and strongest at this time 
was Babylon, whither, after the fall of Nineveh, the seat 
of government had been removed. The following is a 
description of the place : — The city stands on a broad 
plain, and is an exact square, a hundred and twenty^ 
furlongs in length each way, so that the entire circuit is 
four hundred and eighty furlongs.* While such is its size, 
in magnificence there is no other city that approaches 
to it. It is surrounded, in the first place, by. a broad 
and deep moat, full of water, behind which rises a wall 
fifty royal cubits in width, and two hundred in height.* 

Erech (Warka)^ Larancha (Sen- 
kereh)f Ur of the Chaldecs {Mug- 
Aeir), and many other cities of which 
the ancient names have not been yet 
identified. — H. C. R.] Again, in Up- 
per Mesopotamia, between the Tigris 
and the Khabour, an affluent of the 
Euphrates, Mr. Layard found the 
whole country covered with artificial 
mounds, the remnants of cities be- 
longing to the early Assyrian period 
(Nineveh and Babylon, pp. 241, 243, 
245, &c.). "As the evening crept 
on," he says, "I watched from the 
highest mound the sun as it gradually 
sunk in unclouded splendour below 
the sea-like ex].anse before me. On 
all sides, as far as the eye could reach, 
rose the grass-covered heaps, marking 
the site of ancient habitations. The 
great tide of civilisation had long 
since ebbed, leaving; these scattered 
wrecks on the solitary shore. Are 
those waters to flow again, bearing 
back the seeds of knowledge and of 
wealth that they have wafted to the 
West ? We wanderers were seeking 
what they had left behind, as children 
gather up the coloured shells on the 
deserted sands. At my feet there 
was a busy scene, making more lonely 
the unbroken solitude which reigned 
in the vast plain around, where the 
only thinp;s having life or motion were 
the shadows of the lofty mounds, as 
they lengthened before the declining 
sun. Above three years before, when 
watching the approach of night from 
the old castle of Tel Afer, I had 

counted nearly one hundred ruins; 
now, when in the midst of them, no 
less than double that number were 
seen from Tel Jemal." 

* According to Ctesias (ap. Diod. 
Sic. ii. 7) the circuit was but 360 
furlongs (stadia). The historians of 
Alexander agreed nearly with this 
(Diod. Sic. 1. s. c. ; Quint. Curt. V. 
i. { 26). Clitarchus reported 365 
stadia; Q. Ourtius, 368 ; while Strabo, 
who had access to Aristobulus, gave 
385. The vast space enclosed within 
the walls of Babylon is noticed by 
Aristotle. (Polit. iii. I, sub fin.) 

[No traces are to be recognised at 
the present day of the ancient enceinte 
of Babylon, nor has any verification 
as yet been discovered, in the native 
and contemporary records, of the (ap- 
parently) exaggerated measurements 
of the Greeks. The measure of Nebu- 
chadnezzar's new or inner city is 
given in the India House Tablet as 
4000 am mas (or cubits; comp. the 
Jewish nOK) each side, which would 
yield a circumference of about 44 
stades, or no more than 5 English 
miles. But the extent of the oldBa^ 
bylon is nowhere recorded. — H.C.R.] 

• This, by far the most surprising 
fact connected Avith these walls, is to 
some extent confirmed by Ctesias, who 
gives the measure of the height as 60 
fathoms (Diod. Sic. ii. 1\ equal to 
200 ordinary cubits. Otner writers 
considerably reduce the amount ; Pliny 
(vi. 26) and Solinus (c. 60) to 200 feet, 
Dtrabo and others to 75 feet. The 

Chap. 179. 



(Tie royal cubit •• is longer by three fingers' breadth 
than the common cubit.)^ 

179. And here I may not omit to tell the use to 
which the mould dug out of the great moat was turned, 

great width and height of the walls 
are noticed in Scripture (Jerem. li. 
63, 58). There can be no doubt that 
the Babylonians and Assyrians sur- 
rounded their cities with walls of a 
height which, to us, is astounding. 
The sober and practical Xeuophon 
(Anab. ii. iv. § 12, and ni. iv. § 10) 
reports the height of the so-called 
Jledian wall at 100 feet, and that of 
the walls of 'the ruined Kineveh at 
J50 feet. 

[It must be remembered, however, 
that Strabo and the historians of Alex- 
ander substitute 50 for the 200 cubits 
of Herodotus, and it may therefore be 
inspected that the latter author re- 
ferred to hands, four of which were 
equal to the cubit. The measure in- 
deed of 50 fathoms or 200 royal cubits 
Cor the walls of a city in a plain is 
quite preposterous, and if intended by 
the authors, must be put down as a 
gross exaggeration. When Xenophon 
estimates the height of the walls of 
Nineveh opposite Mespila at 150 feet, 
he gives the aggregate of the river 
bank, the colos^ mound (modern 
Koyunjik) on the top of the bank, and 
the wall on the top of the mound. 
My own belief is that the height of 
the walls of Babylon did not exceed 
60 or 70 English feet.— H. C. R.] 

•* The Greek metrical system was 
closely connected with the Baby- 
lonian. It is of course more in the 
divisions and general arranc^ement 
of the scale than in actual measure- 
ment that the Babylonian character 
of the Greek system is exhibited. 
Thus, the foot being taken as the 
unit for all longer measures, the 
opyvih is found to contain 6 feet, 
me Kokafios 10, the afxua 60, the 
likiBpov 100, and the (Ttahiov 600 ;— 
the alternation in the* series of 
6 and 10 occurring precisely as in 
the well-known Babylonian notation 
^— now abundantly verified from the 
inscriptions — of the /Stw, the Nir^ and 

the Sar, With regard to the positive 
relationship of the Greek and Baby- 
lonian measures of length, it is diffi- 
cult as yet to foim a decided opinion. 
Bockh (Clas. Mus. vol. i. p. 4) main- 
tains that the Babylonian cubic foot 
stood to the Greek in the ratio of 3 
to 2, and M. Oppert, from a tolerably 
extensive field of comparison (see 
Athenaeum Fran^ais, 1854, p. 370), 
has also valued the length of the 
Babylonian foot at 315 millimetres^ 
which is, as nearly as possible, 12} 
English inches, but my own researches 
rather lead me to believe the ordinary 
Babylonian foot to have been less than 
the Greek — less even than the English 
foot. It may perhaps have been iden- 
tical with the Egyptian or* Samian,. 
the exact value of which, obtained 
from the Nilometer, is ^1-82852394 
English inches, but I would prefer 
comparing the Eoman foot, which is 
only 11*6496 English inches, or even 
a foot of still less value, if any autho- 
rity could be found for it. — [H. C. R.] 
^ According to M. Oppert, the Ba- 
bylonian cubit was to the foot, not as 

3 : 2, but as 5 : 3. The foot con- 
taiued 3 hands of 5 fingers each, or 
15 fingers ^Athenaeum Fran9ais, 1850, 
p. 370) ; tne cubit 5 such hands, or 
25 fingers. If then we accept the 
statement of Herodotus, the Royal 
Babylonian cubit must have contained 
28 fingers, or 4 more than the Greek. 
The exact value of the cubit will, of 
course, depend on the estimate which • 
we form of the real length of the foot- 
(see the last note). Assuming at 
present that the Babylonian foot 
nearly equalled the English, the com- 
mon cubit would have been 1 foot 
8 inches, and the Royal cubit 1 foot 
10 • 4 inches. The Herodotean height 
of the walls, according to this esti-^ 
mate, would be 373 ft. 4 in., or 13 ft. 

4 in. higher than the extreme height 
of St. Paul's! 

• ■• ' 

Y 2 




nor the manner wherein the wall was wrought. As fast 
as they dug the moat the soil which they got from the 
cutting was made into bricks, and when a sufficient 
number were completed they baked the bricks in kilns. 
Then they set to building, and began with bricking the 
borders of the moat, after which they proceeded to con- 
struct the wall itself, using throughout for their cement 
hot bitumen, and interposing a layer of wattled reeds 
at every thirtieth course of the bricks,® On the top, 
along the edges of the wall, they constructed buildings 
of a single chamber facing one another, leaving between 
them room for a four-horse chariot to turn. In the 
circuit of the wall are a hundred gates, all of brass, 
with brazen lintels and side-posts. The bitumen used 
in the work was brought to Babylon from the Is, a 
small stream which flows into the Euphrates at the 
point where the city of the same name stands,* eight 

* Layers of reeds are found in some 
of the remains of brick buildings at 
present existing in Babylonia, but 
usually at much smaller intervals 
than here indicated. At Akkerkuf 
•• they bed every fifth or %ixih layer 
of brick, to a thickness of two inches.*' 

e96 Porter's Travels, vol. iL p. 278.) 
the Mujelib^, or ancient temple of 
Belus at Babylon, "the straw line 
runs its unbroken length between the 
ranges of every singh brick course" 
QUd. p. 341). 

[I have never myself observed layers 
of reeds in any building of undoubted 
Babylonian origin. All the ruins, at 
any rate about Babylon, in which reeds 
are met with at short distances between 
the layers of crude brick, are of the 
Parthian age, such as Al Uymar, Ak- 
kerkuf, the upper walls of Rich's Mu- 
iellibeh, Mokhattat, Zibliyeh, Shisho- 
bar, and the walls of Seleucia and 
Ctesiphon. Impressions of reeds are 
at the same time very common on the 
burnt bricks of Nebuchadnezzar's 
buildings from the bricks having been 
laid on matting when in a soft state. 
— H. C. R.] 

* This place seems to be mentioned 
in the tribute paid to Thothmes in, 
at Kamak, from Nineveh, Shinar, 
Mesopotamia, and Babel, &c., under 
the name of " /«^," the chief of which 
brought 2040 minse of bitumen, which 
is called atft^ answering to «v^tf, its 
modem name in those parts, as Rich 
says. In Egyptian Arabic zi/te (like 
tbe Hebrew zi/ty Exod. iii. 2) means 
pitch, bitumen (sift), and incense also. 
(See Birch's letter in Otia .£gyptiaca, 
p.80, etc.).— [G.W.I 

Is is indubitably the modem HU, 
where the bitumen is still abundant. 
The following quaint description is 
given by an old traveller : — 

''Having spent three days and 
better, from the mins of Old Babylon 
we came unto a town called Ait, 
inhabited only by Arabians, but very 
ruinous. Near unto which town is a 
valley of pitch very marvellous to be- 
hold, and a thing almost incredible, 
wherein are many sprines throwing 
out abundantly a kind of black sub* 
stance, like unto tar and pitch, which 
serveth all the countries thereabouts 
to make staunch their barks and boati^ 



days* journey from Babylon. Lumps of bitumen are 
found in great abundance in tbis river. 

180. The city is divided into two portions by tbe 
river which runs through the midst of it. This river 
is the Euphrates, a broad, deep, swift stream, which 
rises in Armenia, and empties itself into the Erythraean 
sea. The city wall is brought down on both sides to 
the edge of the stream : thence, from the comers of 
the wall, there is carried along each bank of the river 
a fence of burnt bricks. The houses are mostly 
three and four stories high; the streets all run in 
straight lines, not only those parallel to the river, but 
also the cross streets which lead down to the water- 
side. At the river end of these cross streets are low 
gates in the fence that skirts the stream, which are, 
like the great gates in the outer wall, of brass, and 
open on the water. 

181. The outer wall is the main defence of the city. 
There is, however, a second inner wall, of less thick- 
ness than the first, but very little inferior to it in 
strength." The centre of each division of the town 
was occupied by a fortress. In the one stood the 
palace of the kings,^ surrounded by a wall of great 

every one of which springs maketh a 
noise like a smith's forge in puffing and 
blowing out the matter, which never 
oeaseth night nor day, and the noise 
is heard a mile off, swallowing up all 
weighty things that come upon it. The 
Moors call it ' the mouth of hell.' " 

S Collection of Voyages and Travels 
rom the Library of the Earl of Oxford. 
2 vols. London, 1745. Vol. ii. p. 752.) 
[The name of this place was origin- 
ally Ihif or, with a distinctive epithet 
attached, JhicUikira, meaning " the bi- 
tumen spring.'* I n the Is of Herodotus 
we have Ihi with a Greek nomina- 
tival ending. The same place is pro- 
bably indicated in Ezra viii. 15, 21, 
31, where we have the Hebrew ortho- 
graphy of KIHK, or, in the English 
version, Ahava. Isidore of Charaz 

writes the name as'AciiroXir in his 
Parthian stations (p. 5). Ptolemy 
has 'IducofNi (v. 20), and the Talmud 
m^pnKm^ (Ihidakird\ as the most 
northerly town of Babylonia. Zosimus 
also writes £kaKip4i {m. p. 165)| and 
Ammianus, Diacira (xxiv. 2). Hit is 
probably the same name with a femi* 
nine ending. — H. C. R.] 

** The "inner wall" here mentioned 
may have been the wall of Nebuchad- 
nezzar's new city — the " inner city " 
of Beroeus (Fr, 14)— which lay en* 
tirely within the ancient circuit, and 
had a circumference of 16,000 ammas 
or 44 stades. — See note • on ch. 178. 

* This is the mass or mound still 
called the Kasr or Palace, *' a square 
of 700 yards in length and breadth." 
(Rich, First Memoir, p. 22.) It is 




Book I; 

Btrengtii and size : in the other was the isacred precinci 
of Jupiter Belus,^ a square enclosure two ftirlougs 
each way, with gates of solid brass; which was also 
remaining in my time. In the middle of the precinct 
there was a tower of solid masonry, a fiirlong in length 
and breadth, upon which was raised a second tower, and 
on that a third, and so on up to eight. The ascvsnt 
to the top is on the outside, by a path which winds 
round all the towers. When one is about half way 
up, one finds a resting-place . and seats, where persons 
are wont to sit some time on their way to the summit. 
On the topmost tower there is a spacious temple, and 

an immenBe nilo of brickwork, chiefly 
of the finest Kind. On it stand some 
remarkable ruins to which the name 
Koir is specially api)licd. Its single 
tree whicfi Rich thought strange to 
the pountry, and a remnant of the 
hanging-gardens of Nebuchadnezzar, 
itill grows on one of the ridges, but is 
not found to deserve the attention 
bestowed on it, since it is of a kind 
very common in the valley of the 

[There can be no doubt whatever 
of the identity of the niins of the 
Kasr with the great palace of Babylon 
noticed by Herodotus, and described 
at more length by tJosephus from 
BerosuB (contr. Ap. i. 19\ because 
several slabs belonging to tno original 
building have been found there which 
bear inscriptions commemorative of 
the building of the palace by Nebu- 
chadnezzar. For a full explanation 
of the subject, see the Essay appended 
to Book iii., " On the Topography of 
Babylon."— H. C. K.] 

• iTie Babylonian worship of Bel is 
well known to us from Scripture 

Saiah xlvi. 1 ; Jcrem. I. 2 ; Apoc. 
n. xii. 16). There is little doubt 
that he was the recognised head of the 
Babylonian Pantheon, and therefore 
properly identified by tlie Greeks with 
their Zeus or Jupiter. (Compare the 
expressions Jupiter Atnmon, Jupiter 
PapiaSy &c.) It has Ixjen usual to 
suppose that Bel and Baal are the 

same word, and therefore thai the 
word Bel means simply ^ Lord." B«i 

this is very uncertain. Bel is /) in 
the original, while Baal ia 7911. 
These may he distinct roots. 

r There are some points of ponrider^ 
abfe difficulty connected with Ike 
worship of Bel at Babylon. In the 
inscriptions of Nebuchadneszar, for 
instance, the name of Bel, as a dis- 
tinct divinity, hardly ever occnrs. 
The great temple of Babylon is ood- 
secrated to Merodach, and that god is 
the tutelar divinity of the city. In 
the Assyrian inscriptions, however, 
Bel is associated with Babylon. Pul 
and Tiglath-Pileser both sacrificed to 
him in that city as the supreme local 
deity, and Sargon expressly calls Ba- 
bylon ** the dwelling-place of Bel.** 
At a still earlier period, that is, under 
the old Chaldsdan Empire, Niffer was 
the chief seat of the worship of Bel, 
and the city was named after him, an 
explanation being thns afforded of the 
many traditions which point to Niffer, 
or the city of Belus (Calneh of Genesis), 
as the primitive capital of Chaldiea. 
It may be presumed from many no- 
tices, both in sacred and profane his- 
tory, that the worship of Bel again 
superseded that of Merodach at Baby- 
lon under the Acha;menian princes. 
See the Essay on the Religion of 
the Assyrians and Babylonians. — 
H. a R.] 

Chaf. 181. 



inside the temple stands a couch of unusual size, richly 
adorned, with a golden table by its side. There is no 
statue of any kind set up in the place, nor is the cham- 
ber occupied of nights by any one but a single native 
woman, who, as the ChaldaBans, the priests of this god/ 

* Ctesdas appears to have agreed 
with Herodotus in this statement. 
Diodonis, whose Assyrian history 
seems to have been entirely taken 
from Ctesias, compares the Chaldasans 
of Babylonia with the priests of Egypt 
(ii. 29). And it is unquestionable 
that at the time of Alezander*s con- 
quests the Chalda^ans were a priest- 
caste. Yet originally the appellation 
seems to have been ethnic. 

[It is only recently that the dark- 
ness which has so long enveloped the 
bistory of the Chaldasans has been 
cleared up, but we are now able to 
present a tolerably clear account of 
them. The ChaldaBans then appear 
to have been a branch of the great 
Hamite race of Akkadj which in- 
habited Babylonia from the earliest 
times. With this race originated the 
art of writing, the building of cities, 
the institution of a religious system, 
and the cultivation of all science, and 
of astronomy in particular. The lan- 
guage of these Akkad presents aflini- 
ties with the African dialects on the 
one side, and with the Turanian, or 
those of High Asia, on the other. It 
stands somewhat in the same relation 
as the Egyptian to the Semitic lan- 
guages, belonging as it would seem to 
the great parent stock from which the 
trunk-stream of the Semitic tongues 
also sprung, before there was a rami- 
fication of Semitic dialects, and before 
Semitism even had become subject to 
its peculiar organisation and develop- 
ments. In this primitive Akkadian 
tongue, which 1 have been accustomed 
generally to denominate Scythic, from 
its near connexion with the Scythic 
dialect of Persia, were preserved all 
the scientific treatises known to the 
Babylonians, long after the Semitic 
element had become predominant in 
the land — ^it was in fact the language 
of science in the East, as the Latin 
was in Europe during the middle 

ages. When Semitic tribes established 
an empire in Assyria in the 13th cen- 
tury B.C. they adopted the alphabet 
of the Akkad, and with certain modi- 
fications applied it to their own lui- 
guage ; but during the seven centuries 
which followed of Semitic dominion 
at Nineveh 'and Babylon, this Assy- 
rian language was merely used iot 
historical records and official docn- 
ments. The mythological, astrono- 
mical, and other scientific tablets 
found at Nineveh are exclusively in 
the Akkadian language, and are thus 
shown to belong to a priest-olass, 
exactly answering to the Chaldaeans 
of profane history and of the book of 
Daniel. We thus see how it is that 
the GhaldsBans (taken generally for 
the Akkad) are spoken of in the pro- 
phetical books of Scripture as com- 
posing the armies of the Semitis 
kings of Babylon and as the general 
inhabitants of the country, while in 
other authorities they are distin- 
guished as philosophers, astronomers, 
and magicians, as, in fact, the special 
depositaries of science. It is further 
very interesting to find that parties 
of these Chaldsean Akkad were trans- 
planted by the Assyrian kings from 
the plains of Babylon to the Armenian 
mountains, in the 8th and 7th cen- 
turies B.C., and that this translation 
took place to such an extent, that in 
the inscriptions of Sargon the geo- 
graphical name of Akkad is sometimes 
applied to the mountains instead of 
the vernacular title of Vararai or 
Ararat — an excellent illustration being 
thus afforded of the notices of Chal- 
daeans in this quarter by so many of 
the Greek historians and geographers. 
It is probable that both the Georgian 
and Armenian languages at the pre- 
sent day retain many traces of the 
old Chaldsean speech that was thus 
introduced into the country 2500 
years ago. — H. C. R.] 




Book I« 

affirm, is chosen for himself hj the deity out of all the 
women of the lan<L 

182. Thej also declare — bnt I for my part do not 
credit it — that the god comes down in person into 
this chamher, and sleeps upon the conch. This is like 
the story told by the Egyptians of what takes place in 
their citjr of Thebes,^ where a woman always passes the 
night in the temple of the Theban Jupiter.* In eadi case 
the woman is said to be debarred all intercomrse with 
men. It' is also like the custom at Patara, in Lyda, 
where the priestess who delivers the oracles, during the 
time that she is so employed — ^for at Patara there is not 
always an oracle,* — ^is shut up in the temple every night. 

183. Below, in the same precinct, there is a second 
temple, in which is a sitting figure of Jupiter, all of 
gold. Before the figure stands a large golden table, 
and the throne whereon it sits, and the base on wfaidi 
the throne is placed, are likewise of gold. The 
Ghaldaeans told me that all the gold together was 
eight hundred talents' weight. Outside the temple 
are two altars, one of solid gold, on which it is only 
lawful to offer sucklings; the other a common altar, 
but of great size, on which the full-grown animals 
are sacrificed. It is also on the great altar that the 

* This fable of the god coming per- 
sooally into his temple was contrary 
to the Egyptian belief in the nature 
of the gods- It was only a figuratiTe 
expression, similar to that of the Jews, 
who speak of God visiting and dwell- 
ing in his holy hill, and not intended 
to be taken literally. (Of the women 
in the service of Amun, see note on 
Book ii. ch. 35.)— [G. WJ 

• The Theban Jupiter, or god wor- 
shipped as the Supreme Being in the 
city of Thebes, was Ammon (Amun). 
Herodotus savs the Theban rather 
than the Eeyptian Jupiter, because 

were worshipped in 

joi Egypt as supreme: 

ois, Fhtha at Mem- 

phis, Ra at Helic^wlis, &c. 

* Patara lay on the shore, a little to 
the east of the Xanthus (Strabo xiT. 
p. 951 ; PtoL V. 3). Scylax (Peripl. 
p. 93) seems to place it some distance 
up the stream, but his text is probably 
corrupt in this place. The site is fixed 
with certainty by ruins and inscriptiong 
(Beaufort's Karamania, p. 5 ; Ionian 
Antiq. vol. iii. p. 85 ; FeUows's Lyda,' 
p. 416 to p. 4191 and the name still 
adheres to the plaoe. 

According to Servius (ad Mn, iv. 
143) Apollo delivered oracles here 
during the six winter months, while 
during the six summer months he save 
responses at DeloB. Compare Hor. 
Od. iiL 4, 64. 


Ghaldaeans bum the frankmcense, which is offered 
to the amount of a thousand talents' weight, every 
jear, at the festival of the Qod. In the time of 
Gyrus there was likewise in this temple a figure of 
a man, twelve cubits high, entirely of solid gold. I 
myself did not see this figure, but I relate what the 
Ghaldseans report concerning it. Darius, the son of 
Hystaspes, plotted to carry the statue off, but had not 
the hardihood to lay his hands upon it. Xerxes, how- 
ever, the son of Darius, killed the priest who forbade 
him to move the statue, and took it away.^ Besides 
the ornaments which I have mentioned, there are a 
large number of private offerings in this holy precinct." 
184. Many sovereigns have ruled over this city of 
Babylon, and lent their aid to the building of its 
walls and the adornment of its temples, of whom I 
shall make mention in my Assyrian history. Among 
them two were women. Of these, the earlier, called 
Semiramis, held the throne five generations before the 

^ There can be little doubt that this 
was done by Xerxes after the revolt 
of Babylon, of which Ctesias speaks 
(Exc. Fers. § 22). Arrian relates that 
Aerxes not only plundered but de» 
ttrcyed the temple on his return from 
Greece (vii. 17 ; oomp. Strab. xvi. p. 
1049). It is likely that the revolt 
was connected with the disasters of the 
Grecian expedition, and that Xerxes, 
on taking the city, maltreated the 
priests, nlundered the temple, and di- 
minishea its strength as a fortress, to 
which purpose it may have been turned 
during the siege. But the KoriaKiv^w 
of Arrian is too strong a word. It 
may be remarked that Strabo uses 
the milder term icarc(nra<rf y. 

■ The great temple of Babylon, 
regarding which the Greeks have left 
so many notices, is beyond all doubt 
to be identified with the enormous 
mound which is named MujeUibeh by 
Bich, but to which the Arabs uni- 
rersally apply the title of Bdbil, In 
the description, however, which He- 

rodotus gives of this famous building 
he would seem to have blended archi- 
tectural details which applied in reality 
to two different sites; his measure- 
ment of a stade square answering 
pretty well to the circumference of 
Babil, and his notices also of the 
chapels and altars of the god being 
in close agreement with the accounts 
preserved in the inscriptions of Nebu- 
chadnezzar of the hiph place of Mero- 
dach at Babylon ; while, on the other 
hand, the elevation of seven stages 
one above the other, and the con- 
struction of a shrine for the divinity 
at the summit of the pile, must 
necessarily refer to the temple of the 
Planets of the Seven Spheres at 
Borsippa, now represented by Uie ruins 
of Birs-Nimrud. A full account of 
both of these temples is given from 
the Cuneiform Inscriptions at the close 
of Book iii., "On the Topography of 
Babylon," to which accordingly th« 
reader is referred. — [H. C. R.] 




later princess.' She raised certain embankments well 
worthy of inspection, in the plain near Babylon, to 
control the river, which, till then, used to overflow, 
and flood the whole country round about. 

185. The later of the two queens, whose name was 
Ifitocris, a wiser princess than her predecessor, not 
only left behind her, as memorials of her occupancy 
of the throne, the works which I shall presently de- 
scribe, but also, observing the great power and restless 
enterprise of the Medes, who had taken so large a 
number of cities, and among them Nineveh, and ex- 
pecting to be attacked in her turn, made all possible 
exertions to increase the defences of her empire. And 
first, whereas the river Euphrates, which traverses the 
cily, ran formerly with a straight course to Babylon, she, 
by certain excavations which she made at some distance 
up the stream, rendered it so winding that it comes 
three several times in sight of the same village, a village 
in Assyria, which is called Ardericca;* and to this 
day, they who would go from our sea to Babylon, on 
descending to the river touch three times, and on three 
different days, at this very place. She also made an 
embankment along each side of the Euphrates, won-» 
derful both for breadth and height, and dug a basin 
for a lake a great way above Babylon, close alongside 
of the stream, which was sunk everywhere to the point 
where they came to water, and was of such breadth 
that the whole circuit measured four hundred and 
twenty furlongs. The soil dug out of this basin was 
made use of in the embankments along the waterside. 
When the excavation was finished, she had stones 

• Scaliger proposed to read ''^ fifty 
penerations '* instead of "five." Vi- 
tringa suggested "fifteen." Both 
wished to identify the Semiramis of 
Herodotus with that of Ctesias. But 
they are two entirely distinct per- 
sonages. See the Essays appended to 
^* volume, Essay viii., "On the 

History of the later Babylonians." 

* ArdericcA is probably the modem 
Ahkerkuf which was on the line of 
the original Nahr MalchcL, or Royal 
River, a canal made for purposes of 
irrigation. No such cuttings as those 
here described by Herodotus can ever 
have existed. — ^TH. C. R.] 

Chap. 185, 186. . NETOCIHS-^HER GREAT WORKS/ SS8 

brought, and l)ordered with them the entire margin 
of the reservoir. These two things were done, the 
river made to wind, and the lake excavated, that thd 
stream might be slacker by reason of the number of 
curves, and the voyage be rendered circuitous, and 
that at the end of the voyage it might be necessary to 
skirt the lake and so make a long round. All these 
works were on that side of Babylon where the passes lay, 
and the roads into Media were the straightest, and the 
aim of the queen in making them was to prevent the 
Mede49 from holding intercourse with the Babylonians, 
and so to keep them in ignorance of her affairs. 

186. While the soil from the excavation was being 
thus used for the defence of the city, Nitocris engaged 
also in another undertaking, a mere by-work compared 
with those we have already mentioned. The cily, as I 
said, was divided by the river into two distinct portions; 
Under the former kings, if a man wanted to pass from 
one of these divisions to the other, he had to cross in a 
boat ; which must, it seems to me, have been very trou- 
blesome. Accordingly, while she was digging the lake, 
Nitocris bethought herself of turning it to a use which 
should at once remove this inconvenience, and enable her 
to leave another monument of her reign over Babylon. 
She gave orders for the hewing of immense blocks 
of stone, and when they were ready and the basin 
was excavated, she turned the entire stream of the 
Euphrates into the cutting, and thuff for a time, while 
the basin was filling, the natural channel of the river 
was left dry. Forthwith she set to work, and in the 
first place lined the banks of the stream within the city 
with quays of burnt brick, and also bricked the landing- 
places opposite the river-gates, adopting throughout the 
same fasliion of brickwork which had been used in the 
town wall ; after which, with the materials which had 
been prepared, she built, as near the middle of the 
town as possible, a stone bridge, the blocks whereof ^B 


were bound togetlier witli iron and lead. In the 
daytime square wooden platfonns were laid along 
from pier to pier, on which the inhabitants crossed the 
stream ; but at night they were withdrawn, to prevent 
people passing from side to side in the dark to commit 
robberies. When the river had filled the cutting, and 
the bridge was finished, the Euphrates was turned back 
again into its ancient bed; and thus the basin, trans- 
formed suddenly into a lake, was seen to answer the 
purpose for which it was made, and the inhabitants, by 
help of the basin, obtained the advantage of a bridge. 

187. It was this same princess by whom a remark- 
able deception was planned. She had her tomb con- 
structed in the upper part of one of the principal gate- 
ways of the city, high above the heads of the passers 
by,%rith this inlriplon cut upon it :-" If there We 
among: my successors on the throne of Babylon who is 
in wSt o^tn^s^xe, let Mm open my tomb/snd tdce „ 
much as he chooses, — not, however, unless he be truly 
in want, for it will not be for his good." This tomb 
continued untouched until Darius came to the kingdom. 
To him it seemed a monstrous thing that he should be 
unable to use one of the gates of the town, and that a 
sum of money should be lying idle, and moreover in- 
viting his grasp, and he not seize upon it. Now he could 
not use the gate because, as he drove through, the dead 
body would have been over his head. Accordingly he 
opened the tomb ; but instead of money, found only the 
dead body, and a writing which said — " Hadst thou not 
been insatiate of pelf, and careless how thou gottest it, 
thou wouldst not have broken open the sepulchres of 
the dead." 

188. The expedition of C3rrus was undertaken against 
the son of this princess, who bore the same name as 
his father Labynetus,* and was king of the Assyrians. 

* Herodotus probably regards this Labynetns as the son of the king men- 
tioned in chap. 74. 


The Great King, when he goes to the wars, is always 
supplied with provisions carefully prepared at home, 
and with cattle of his own. Water too from the river 
Ghoaspes, which flows by Susa,^ is taken with him for 
his drink, as that is the only water which the kings of 
Persia taste/ Wherever he travels, he is attended by a 
number of four-wheeled cars drawn by mules, in which 
the Choaspes water, ready boiled for use, and stored in 
flagons of silver, is moved with him from place to place. 
189, Cyrus on his way to Babylon came to the 
banks of the Gyndes,* a stream which, rising in the 
Matienian mountains,* runs through the country of the 
Dardanians,^ and empties itself into the river Tigris. 

* For a description of the situation 
and present state of Snsa, see note on 
Book iii. ch. 68. There is no doubt 
that the Choaspes is the modem 
Kerhhah. (See Journal of the Geo- 
grai^ Soc, vol. ix. part i. pp. 88, 89.) 

^ This statement of Herodotus is 
echoed by various writers (Plutarch, 
de Exil. vol. ii. p. 601, D ; Athenaeus, 
Deiimosoph. ii. 23, p.l71 ; Solinus, Po- 
lyhbt. xU. p. 83 ; Eustath. ad Dionys. 
Perieg. 1073, &c.) Some add to it, 
that no one but the king (Solin. I. s. c), 
or no one but the king and his eldest 
son (Agathocles, Fr. 5\ might drink 
the Choaspes water. What most say 
of the Choaspes, Strabo reports of the 
EuliBUS (xv. p. 10431 and Pliny (H. 
N. xxxi. 3) mentions both names. But 
these two writers are probably mistaken 
in regarding the Eulseus and Choaspes 
as different rivers. The term EulaBus 
(Ulai of Daniel) seems to have been 
applied to the Kerkhah from Susa to 
its junction with the Karun, The 
water of both the Karun and the 
Kerkhah is said at the present day to 
be excellent, and the natives vaunt 
the superiority of these two rivers 
over all other streams or springs in 
the world (Journal of Geogr. Sc^ety, 
vol. ix. part i. p. 89). 

* llie Gyndes is undoubtedly the 
Diydlah^ since, — firstly, — there is no 
other navigable stream after the lower 
Zab on the rood between Sardis and 

Susa (vide infra, v. 52) ; and secondly, 
no other river of any consequence 
could have to be crossed between tiie 
mountains and the Tigris on the march 
from Agbatana to Babylon. Were it 
not for these drcumstanoes the river 
Cfangir^ which is actually divided at 
Mendalli into a multitude of petty 
streams, and completely absorbed in 
irrigation, might seem to have a better 
claim (Jour, of Geogr. Soc. ut sup. p. 46). 

* Tnese Matieni are not to be con- 
founded with the Matieni of Asia 
Minor, who may have been of the 
same race (query, Medes? the d of 
Mada passing into t, as in Sauro-fiiatoX 
but were a distinct people. Herodotus 
seems to assign to these Matieni the 
whole of the mountain range from the 
sources of the Diyalah near HamadiA 
to those of the Arcu (A raxes) near 
Erzeroum in Upper Armenia (vido 
infra, ch. 202). 

[The term Matieni may perhaps 
mean simply "mountaineers. The 
Babylonian word, at any rate, which 
is used for a mountain may be read 
as mcUu in the singular, and mati^ 
or matein in the plunU. There is^ 
however, no cognate term in any ot 
the other Semitic languages. — H.C.R.] 

^ No other writer mentions Darda- 
nians in these parts. It has been pro- 
posed to read duk Aapat^v^ — V 'Apfic- 
vi»Vf — and duk Hapvi^v, The only 
various reading in the MSS. &V(mri 




Book I. 

The Tigris, after receiving the Gyndes, flows on by the 
city of Opis,* and discharges its waters into the Ery- 
thraean sea. When Cyrus reached this stream, which 
could only be passed in boats, one of the sacred 
white horses accompanying his march, full of spirit and 
high mettle, walked into the water, and tried to cross 
by himself; but the current seized him, swept him 
along with it, and drowned him in its depths. Cyrus, 
enraged at the insolence of the river, threatened so 
to break its strength that in future even women should 
cross it easily without wetting their knees. Accord- 
ingly he put off for a time his attack on Babylon, 
and, dividing his army into two parts, he marked out 
by ropes one hundred and eighty trenches on each 
side of the Gyndes, leading off from it in all directions, 
and setting his army to dig, some on one side of the 
river, some on the other, he accomplished his threat 

the last emendation. It is litapba»€ci>v, 
which has all the letters of diA Aapvcooi^ 
with a single dislocation. The ruins of 
Dameh still exist on the banks of the 
Zamacan before it joins the Diyalah, 
and before the united rivers issue 
from the mountains into the plain of 

[It must be confessed, however, that 
Dameh has not been a place of any 
consequence either in the ancient or 
modem geography of the country. 
•It was merely selected by the Kurdish 
emirs for their residence about five cen- 
turies back on account of the strength 
of t^e position. Aapbdv€oi may very 
well mean ** the holders of the passes," 
and thus exactly apply to the tribes 
along the banks of the upper Diyalah, 
— H. C. R.] 

• This is the plain meaning of Hero- 
dotus, who has therefore been aQcused 
of ignorance by Rennell (Geography 
of Herod. § 9, p. 202). But the situa- 
tion of Opis is uncertain. Strabo, 
by calling it an emiwrium (xvi. p. 
1051) might lead us to imagine that 
its position was low down the river. 
Xenophon*s narrative (Anab. ii. iv. 
13-25), it must be granted, makes this 

impossible. Still, however, Opis may 
have been a little below the junction 
of the Diyalah with the Tigris, or at 
the point of confluence. 

[If we remember that Xenophon's 
Median Wall is the enceinte of Baby- 
lon, and that the Greeks crossed tne 
Tigris at Sittac^, which was on the 
road from Babylon to Susa, we can 
hardly fail of identifying the Diyalah 
with the Physcus of Xenophon (Anab. 
n. iv. 25), and thus recognising Opis 
in the ruins of Kha/aji, near the con- 
fluence of the two rivers. The name 
of Physcus probably comes from ffu^ 
ptiska, the title in the inscriptions of 
the district of Sulimanieh, through 
which the Diyalah flows. In the 
name of Opis we have probably a 
Greek nominatival ending as in Is. 
The cuneiform orthography is fftipiya^ 
and I rather think that Khafaji is a 
mere corruption of the original name. 
The name of Sittac^, or, more pro- 
perly, Psittac^, is written in the in- 
scriptions as Fatsitay without the 
Scythic guttural termination. It ap- 
pears to have been situated at least 
as low down as the modem fort of the 
Zobeid chief.— H. C. R.] 




by the aid of so great a number of hands, but hot with* 
out losmg thereby the whole summer season. 

190. Having, however, thus wreaked his vengeance 
on the Gyndes • by dispersing it through three hundred 
and sixty channels, Cyrus, with the first approach of 

* Rennell sensibly remarks (p. 202) 
that the story of Cynis's (lividing the 
Gyndes is a very childish one, in the 
planner in which it ia told. He su[>- 
poses that the river was swollen, and 
that the sole object of Cyrus was to 
etTect the passage. But this ex))lana- 
tion is unsatisfactory. It is not con- 
ceivable that Cyrus proceeded against 
Babylon unprepared for the passage 
of great rivers. Boats must have 
abounded on the streams, and rafts 
supported by inflated skins, which 
were in constant use upon them, as 
the Nimrud sculptures show, could 
have been constructed rapidly. Even 
if it had been necessary to divide the 
Pyndes, in order to make it fordable, 
there would have been no need of en- 
tirely dispersing it, and so wasting a 
whole summer. And if this was the 
only means by which Cyrus could pass 
the comparatively small stream of the 
Diyalah, how did he get across the 

If we accept the fact of the dispersion, 
the true explanation would seem to be, 
that Cyrus had already resolved to 
attempt the capture of Babylon by the 
means which he subsequently adopted, 
and thought it necessary to practise 
bis army in the art of draining ofif the 
waters from a stream of moderate size 
before attempting the far greater work 
of making the Euphrates fordable. 
He may not have been aware of the 
artificial reservoir which rendered his 
task at Babylon comparatively easy, 
or not have anticipated the neglect 
which converted a means of defence to 
the assailed into a convenience to the 
assailing party. 

It is remarkable that Mr. Grote 
accepts the narrative of Herodotus as 
it stands, apparently seeing in it no 
improbability. At least he offers no 
explanation of the conduct of Cyrufj^ 
(Hist, of Greece, vol. iv. pp. ^84-5), 

[I incline to regard the whole story 
as a fable, embodying some popular 
tradition with regard to the origin of 
the great hydraulic works on the 
Diyalah below the Hamaran hilla, 
where the river has been dammed 
across to raise the level of the water, 
and a perfect network of canals have 
been opened out from it on either 
side. The principal of these canals 
to the east, now named Bdadroz 
(BmodirpoB in Theophanes, and Barat 
rud^ or "hog river," of the Arabs)^ 
is apparently of extreme antiquity, 
the stream having worked itself a bed 
in the alluvial soil nearly 50 feet 
below the level of the country. There 
are fully 360 streams of water derived 
from the Diyalah, including all the 
branch cuts from the seven great 
canals. If Cyrus did indeed execute 
these works, his object must have 
been to furnish means of irrigation to 
the country, and such a motive was 
scarcely likely to have influenced him 
when he was conducting a hostile ex- 
pedition i^inst Babylon. Moreover, 
if he mai:ched upon Babylon by the 
high road leading from the Persian 
mountains, he would have had no 
occasion to cross the Diyalah at all. 
7he direct route must have followed 
the left bank of the river to Opis, near 
which was the passage of the Tigris. 

The name of the river Gyndes is 
probably derived from the cuneiform 
KJiiidun, a city and district on the 
banks of the river adjoining Ilupuska, 
which is mentioned in the annals of 
Sardanapalus. It is at any rate 
worthy of remark that all the names 
by which this river has been known 
in modern times, Tamerra, Shiman, 
Nahrwan, and Diyalah, are those of 
cities on its banks, and the same 
system of nomenclature may very 
well be supposed to have existed in 
antiquity. — H. C. B.] . 



the ensuing spring, marched forward against Babylon, 
The Babylonians, encamped without their walls, awaited 
his coming. A battle was fought at a short distance 
from the city, in which the Babylonians were defeated 
by the Persian king, whereupon they withdrew within 
their defences. Here they shut themselves up, and made 
light of his siege, having laid in a store of provisions 
for many years in preparation against this attack ; for 
when they saw Cyrus conquering nation after nation, 
they were convinced that he would never stop, and that 
their turn would come at last. 

191. Cyrus was now reduced to great perplexity, as 
time went on and he made no progress against the 
place. In this distress either some one made the sugges- 
tion to him, or he bethought himself of a plan, which 
he proceeded to put in execution. He placed a portion 
of his army at the point where the river enters the city, 
and another body at the back of the place where it 
issues forth, with orders to march into the town by the 
bed of the stream, as soon as the water became shallow 
enough: he then himself drew off with the unwarlike 
portion of his host, and made for the place where 
Nitocris dug the basin for the river, where he did 
exactly what she had done formerly : he turned the 
Euphrates by a canal into the basin,^ which was then a 
marsh, on which the river sank to such an extent that 
the natural bed of the stream became fordable. Here- 
upon the Persians who had been left for the purpose at 
Babylon by the river-side, entered the stream, which 
had now sunk so as to reach about midway up a man's 
thigh, and thus got into the town. Had the Babylo- 
nians been apprised of what Cyrus was about, or had they 

' Mr. Grote says that Cyrus " caused 
another reservoir and another canal of 
communication to be dug, by means 
of which he drew off the water of the 
Euphrates" (vol. iv. p. 285). But 
Herodotus says that he turned the 

river into the same reservoir — 4s rtji^ 
\ifivrjv — which was at the time a marsh 
— tovaav €\os. And indeed, had 
he done otherwise, he would have ez- 
' pended time and labour very unne* 


noticed their danger, they would not have allowed the 
entrance of the Persians within the city, which was what 
ruined them utterly, but would have made fast all the 
street-gates which gave upon the river, and mounting 
upon the walls along both sides of the stream, would so 
have caught the enemy as it were in a trap. But, as 
it was, the Persians came upon them by surprise and so 
took the city. Owing to the vast size of tlie place, the 
inhabitants of the central parts (as the residents at 
Babylon declare) long after the outer portions of the 
town were taken, knew nothing of what had chanced, 
but as they were engaged in a festival, continued danc- 
ing and revelling until they learnt the capture but too 
certainly. Such, then, were the circumstances of the 
first taking of Babylon.^ 

192. Among many proofs which I shall bring for- 
ward of the power and resources of the Babylonians, 
the following is of special accoimt. The whole coun- 
try under the dominion of the Persians, besides pay- 
ing a fixed tribute, is parcelled out into divisions, 
which have to supply food to the Great King and his 
army during different portions of the year.^ Now out 
of the twelve months which go to a year, the district of 
Babylon furnishes food during four, the other regions 
of Asia during eight ; by which it appears that Assyria, 
in respect of resources, is one- third of the whole of 
Asia. Of all the Persian governments, or satrapies as 
they are called by the natives,* this is by far the best. 

' Horcxlotiis intends to contrast this 
first capture with the second capture 
hy Darius Hystasfx^s, of which lie 
speaks in the latter [)ortion of the 
thinl liook. We Icam, however, hy 
the mode of speech used, that he was 
not aware of any former occiusion on 
which the citv of Bahylon had been 
taken bv an encmv. 

' See the Essay appended to Book 
iii., "On the Persian System of Ad- 
ministration and Government/' 

* The native orthography of the 
word, which the Greeks ^^Tote o-arpd- 
7n;ff, is " khshatrapa." it is found 
twice in the Behistun inscription (Col. 
III. 1. 14 and 1. 55). The etymology 
has been much disputed (see Gesen. 
Hobr. p. 41. Engl, ed.) ; but, as 
" khshatram " is use<l throughout the 
inscriptions for " crown " or " empire," 
we can sciircely be mistaken in regard- 
ing " khshatrapa *' as formed of the 
two root^s "khshatram," and "!»." 

VOL. 1. z 



When Tritantaechmes, eon of Artabazus,' held it of the 
king, it brought him in an artaba of silver every day. 
The artaba is a Persian measure,* and holds three 

The latter word aignifios in Sanskrit 
"to preserro, uphoKl," whence it Bp- 
pears that a Satrap U "one whoup- 
hold* the crown." (Cf. Col. Rawlin- 
son'e Vocabulary of the ancient Pcraian 
language, pp. 116-7.) 

' We hear of a Trilanticchniea, 
" BOD of Atiabanut, brother of Darius 
HTStaspee," in Book vii. ch. 82, from 
which place it might appear that tiiis 
pdBH^e should be oorrccled. But wc 
cannot be sure that the same pcraon is 
intended in both instances. Indeed, 
as HerodotUH seems to speak of his own 
personal knowledge, it is probable 
that the Tritantfechmes here mentioned 
was Satrap of Babylon at the time of 
Herodotus a vimt (about b.c, 450), in 
which ca«c it is scarcely possiblo that 
be should have been the sanie person 
who 30 years before was one of the 

six superior generals of the army of 

[The name of Tritantwohmes is of 
considerable interest becKtiso it points 
to the Vedic traditions, which the 
Persians brought with them from the 
Indus, and of tiie currency of which 
in the time of Xerxes we have tlkua 
distinct evidence. The name means 
" strong as Tritan" — this title, which 
etymol<^caliy means " three-bodied," 
being tb« Sanscrit and Zend form of 
the famous Peridun of Peiwn ro- 
mance, who divided the world be- 
tween his throe sous, Selm, Tur, and 
EriJ.— H. C. R.] 

" This is the same name as the 
ardeb of modern Egypt, and, like the 
medijnnut, is a com measure. The 
anleb is nearly five English boahels, 
and contains 8 med, liii^ too, ia the 

(from ■ BJibylDiUan (sblct). 



choenixes more than the medimnus of the Athenians. 
He also had, belonging to his own private stud, besides 
war-horses, eight hundred stallions and sixteen thousand 
mares, twenty to each stallion. Besides which he kept 
so great a number of Indian hounds,* that four large 
villages of the plain were exempted from all other 
charges on condition of finding them in food. 

193. But little rain falls in Assyria,® enough, however, 
to make the com begin to sprout, after which the plant 
is nourished and the ears formed by means of inigation 
from the river.* For the river does not, as in Egypt, 
overflow the corn-lands of its own accord, but is spread 
over them by the hand, or by the help of engines.* 

liatin modita, which last was equal to 
one-sixth of the Greek medimnus. 
But the anUh differs in quantity from 
the artaha, 

1 medimntts = 48 c!uenioes,OY 6 Latin modii. 

1 tnodim = 8 chomiccs, 

1 artaha = 51 choinices (48 -|- 3). 

1 artaha = little more than 6^ nuHlii. 

1- modi**s = nearly 1 peck, Knglish. 

1 artaba = about If bushel.— -[G. \V.] 

' Concern! nji; these famous cloizs see 
Bahr's Ctesias (Tndic. Excerpt. § 5), 
and Arist. Hist. An. viii. 28. 

Moilels of favourite dogs are fre- 
quently found in excavating the cities 
of Babylonia. Some may be seen in 
the British Museum, obtained from 
the hunting |)alace of the son of Esar- 
Haddon at Nineveh. They are of 
small size, and are inscribed with the 
name of the dog, whicli is commonly 
a word indicative of tlieir hunting 
prowess. The representation of an 
Indian dog (p. 330) is from a terra- 
cotta fragment found by Col. Rawlin- 
son at Babylon. 

® Hain is very rare in Babylonia 
during the summer months, and pro- 
ductiveness depends entirely on irri- 
gation. During the spring there are 
constant showers, and at other times 
of the year rain falls frequently, but 
irregularly, and never in great quanti- 
ties. The heaviest is in December. 
In ancient times, when irrigation was 
carried to a far greater extent than it 

is at present, the meteorology of the 
country may probably have been dif- 
ferent.— [U. C. R.] 

• At the present day it is not usual 
to tnist even the first sprouting of the 
com to nature, llic lands are laid 
under water for a few days before the 
corn is sown ; the water is then with- 
drawn, and the seed scattered upon 
the moistened soil. — [H. C. R.] 

' The engine intended by Herodotus 
seems to have been the common hand- 
swipe, to which alone the name of 
jci/Xcoi/^iov would proiierly apply. The 
ordinary method of irrigation at the 
present day is by the help of oxen, 
which draw the water from the river 
to the top of the bank by means of 
ropes passed over a roller, working 
between two ui)right posts. Accounts 
of this process will be found in the 
works of O^l. Chesney (Eui)hrate8 
ExiKidition, vol. i. p. 653), and Mr. 
Layard (Nineveh and its Remains, 
Part I. ch. X.). Occasionally, how- 
ever, the hand-8wii)e is used. Col. 
Chesney says : — " When the bank is 
too high to throw up the water in this 
manner" (viz. with a basket) "it is 
raised by another process equally 
simple. A wooden lever, from 13 to 
15 feet long, is made to revolve freely 
on tlie top of a post 3 or 4 feet high, 
about two- thirds of the length of the 
lever projecting over the river, with a 
leather bucket or closely made basket 

z 2 




The wliole of Babylonia is, like Egypt, intersected with 
canals. The largest of them all, which runs towards 
tho winter sun, and is impassable except in boats," is 
carried from the Euphrates into another stream, called 
the Tigris, the river upon which the town of Nineveh 
formerly stood.' Of all the countries that we know 
there is none which is so fruitful in grain. It makes 
no pretension indeed of growing the fig, the olive, the 
vine, or any other tree of the kind; but in grain 
it is so fruitful as to yield commonly two-hundred-fold, 
and when the production is the greatest, even three- 
hundred-fold. The blade of the wheat-plant and bar- 
ley-plant is often four fingers in breadth. As for the 
millet and the sesfiine, I Rhall not say to what height 
they grow, though within my own knowledge; fori 
am not ignorant that what I have already written con- 
cerning the fruitfulness of Babylonia must seem in- 
credible to those who liave never visited the country.* 

of date-branches, siispenJed from the 
extremity : this is balanced when full 
of water by means of a bucket of 
oartli or stones at the other end, and 
this simple machiue is so well con- 
trived that very sliRht manual exer- 
tion will raise the bucket sufficiently 
high to empty its eontents into a 
dstero or other kind of receptacle, 
frora whence it is dispersed over the 
fields by means of iiumerons small 
chanuels."* (Conipftre Ijiyard's Nine- 
veh and Baliylon, p. ll«.) 

Representations of liadd-swipcB have 
bfen found ou the monuments. 

flind-awlpo. (Frotu a i 

' This probably refers to the ori- 
ginal Nahr Malclio, tbe great work 
of Nebuchadnezzar, which left tbe 
Euphrates At the modem Fclugto, 
and entered the Ti<;ris in the vicinity 
of tbe embouchure of the Gyndoa 
(DigalaJi), This canal has, however, 
rc[>eatedly chan^;^ its course slncu its 
original constniction, and the ancient 
bed cannot be now continuously traced. 
— !"H. C. li.] 

' Bcloe trnnslatfls ivixti it rir 
Tifpiy, Trap' &v Nlwr noXis o'k^to, 
" IS continued to tliat jart of the 
Tigris where Nineveh siatuU;" thus 
placing the canal in Assyria, above 
the nlluviuui, where no canal is pos- 
sible, and giving the impression that 
Nineveh was standing in the time of 
Herodotus ! 

' The fertility of Babylonia is cele- 
brated hy a number of ancient writers. 
Theophrostus, the disciple of Aristotle, 
speaks of it in his History of Plants 
(viii, 7). Berosus (Fr. 1) says that 
the laud produced naturally wheat, 
barley, the pulse called ochrys, sesame, 
edible roots named '/oinjte, palms. 

OuAP. 193. 



The only oil they iise is made from the sesame-plant.* 
Palm-trees grow in great numbers over the whole of 
the flat country,* mostly of the kind which bears fruit, 
and this fruit supplies them with bread, wine, and 
honey. They are cultivated like the fig-tree in all 
respects, among others in this. The natives tie the 
fruit of the male-palms, as they are called by the Greeks, 
to the branches of the date-bearing palm, to let the 
gall-fly enter the dates and ripen them, and to prevent 
the fruit from falling oif. The male-palms, like the 
wild fig-trees, have usually the gall-fly in their fruit.' 

apples, aud shelled fi-uits of various 
kinds. Strabo, apparently following 
Herodotus, mentions the barley as re- 
turning often 300 fold (xvi. p. 1054). 
Pliny says that the wheat is cut 
twice, and is afterwards good keep 
for beasts (Hist. Nat. xviii. 17). 
Modems, while bearing testimony to 
the general fact, go less into details. 
Rich savs : — " The air is salubrious, 
and the soil extremely fertile, produc- 
ing great quantities of rice, dat<.*8, and 
grain of different kinds, though it is 
not cultivated to above half the degree 
of which it is susceptible." (First 
Memoir, p. 12.) Colonel Chesncy 
(Euphrat. Exp. vol. ii. pp. G02-3) 
remarks, — ** Although greatly changed 
by the neglect of man, those iK)rtions 
of Mesopotamia which are still cul- 
tivated, as the country aUnit Hillab, 
show that the region has all the 
fertility ascrilwd to it by Herodotus ;" 
and he antici]>ate8 that " the time 
may not be distant when the daie- 
groves of the p]uphrat«s may be in- 
terspersed with flourishing towns, sur- 
rounded with fields of the finest 
wheat, and the most productive i)lan- 
tations of indigo, cotton, and sugar- 

* Mr. Layard inforins us that this 
is still the case with respect to the 
|KJOple of the plains (Nineveh, Part ii. 
ch. vi.). The olive is cultivated on the 
flanks of Mount Zagros, but Haby Ionia 
did not extend so far. 

• " As far as the eye can reach from 
the town (Hillah),'* says Ker Porter, 

" both up and down the Euphraties the 
banks apjx^ar to be thickly shaded 
with groves of date-trees." (Travels, 
vol. ii. p. 335.) There is reason to 
believe that anciently the country was 
very much more thickly wooded than 
it is at present. The palm will grow 
wherever water is brought. In an- 
cient times the whole country between 
the rivers, and the greater portion of 
the tract intervening l)etween the 
Tigris and the mountains, was arti- 
ficially irrigated. At present cultiva- 
tion extends but a short distance from 
the banks of the great streams. 

[The sylvan character and beautiful 
appearance of the country, which af- 
terwards so much excited the admira- 
tion of the Arabs, are particularly 
noticed by Ammianus and Zosimus 
in their descriptions of the march of 
Julian's anny across Mesopotamia 
from the Euphrates to the Tigris. A 
forest of verdure, says Ammianus, 
extended from this point as far as 
Mes^n^ and the shores of the sea. 
Comiiare Amnj. Marc. xxiv. 3, with 
Zosim. iii. p. 173-9.— H. C. P.] 

^ ITieophrastus first pointed out 
the inaccuracy of this statement (Hist. 
i*laut. ii. 9). Several writers, among 
them Tiarcher and Bahr, have endea- 
voured to show that I lerodbtus is pro- 
bably right and Theophrastus wrong. 
Moilern travellers, however, side with 
the naturalist against the historian. 
All that is require<l for fructification, 
they tell us, is, that the (lollen from 
the blossoms of the male palm should 

3M BOATS. Bow I. 

1!)4. But the greatest wonder of all that I Bawm the 
land, after the city itself, I will now proceed to mention. 
Tlie Ixjats which come down the river to Babylon are 
circular, and made of Bkins. The frames, which are of 
willow, are cut in the countrj' of the Armenians above 
Assyria, and on these, which serve for hulls, a covering 
of skins is stretched outside, and thus the boats are 
made, without either stem or stem, quite round like 
a shield. They are then entirely filled with straw, and 
their cargo is put on board, after which they are suf- 
fered to float down the stream. Their chief freight is 
wine, stored in casks made of the wood of the palm- 
tree.* They are managed by two men who stand up- 
right in them, each plying an oar, one pulling and the 
other pushing.* The boats are of various sizes, some 

come iiilo contact with the fruit of the 
fuiudc iMlni or dale-tree. To bccuto 
thin, Uit) prnctice of which Herodotus 
spu&ki! h fltill oliscrvetl. 

• ('ill. Clicmicy and Mr. Layani, 
ailotitiii^c thu conJL-cture of Valla (^ot- 
KKi)iau for <boun*iiiov!), speak of the 
(luaTititjr lit jHiltn-icine brought to 
nnliyliiii from Armenitv. But there 
arc twoii1i>(«(ioiii) to this, liabylonin, 
IIh! Iniiil of dated, would not be likely 
tu liiiiMirt tlio HpirituouK liijuor wliicii 
cnii Ik; diHtiltcd from that fruit ; aiirl 
the iiiaiiiitaiii tract of Armenia could 
itot jwhIuco it. It was no doubt 
i/riiinywiiie (hat Babylon ini[>oi't('d 
from tbo ruiiiuiiB higher up the river, 
tliini^;li]icrl>n|>iiiicarcolv from Armenia, 
which in Un< cold for tlio vine. 

[(trail' wiiio in uow bnmuht to 
lliv^liilnil friim Kcrhiik, but not from 
Arnii-iiia, wh.rm the vine d.^ea not 
(:n>w.— U. V. II.] i 

* ItuniH uf Ihix kind, cl<«ely rcscm- | 
lilhi)! forackw, ani rcprcacndMl in Ihc 
Niuuvt'li M:ul)itiireH, and still )<ly on 
IIm- Ku|ihml4ii. "TIk' Kufa," \vc I 
mul in Kit TurtfT, " iii of close irilfoia \ 
work, wi'll Lxitittil with Ihc hilnminoiis i 
miWtniiiT ot till- ciinutrv— /Ki/.r/Zi/ 
fiiviihir, il ivsi'iiibk',* a ln"ri;v U.ivl oil 
lliP mirlWi' of tlH'stn^am." (Tmvcls, ! 

^iwl. ii. [>. aUV) Mr. Uvanl adds, thai 

these boala a 
with skitu, over which the bitumen 
is Bmeared." (Nineveh, Partii-ch. v.) 
ttol.Chesney also eaya (vol. ii. p. 640), 
" In some instances, though but rarely 
in the present dav, the basket-work ia 
cowi'trf >«Uh kaliur ... but the com- 
mou ini'thoil is to cover tbo bottom 
with bitumen." (Col. Ttawlinson, how- 
ever, doubts the e:(istcnce of " kufaa 
covered with ikiriK," which he has 
never seen, and of which he has 
never heard, on either river.) 'iTie 

(from Col. Cbcsnrj). 

kufas are iLsed chielly on the lower 
'I'ifjris and Euphralea, and are not 
oniiiiarily broken up, beinf! too valtl- 
alile. Itut the rafts which descend the 
atreatiiH from their upper |>ortion8, 
wliitb are formed of wood and rccds 
8up|ii>rtcil iiy iuHated skins, have 
exactly the same fate as the Ixtals of 

Chap. 194, 195. BOATS — DRESS. SSfi 

larger, some smaller ; &e biggest reach as high as five 
thousand talente' burthen. Each vessel has a live ass 
on board; those of larger size have more than one. 
When they reach Babylon, the cargo is landed and 
offered for sale ; after which the men break up their 
boats, sell the straw and the frames, and loading their 
asses with the skins, set off on their way back to Ar- 
menia. The current is too strong to allow a boat to 
return up-stream, for which reason they make their 
boats of akina rather than wood. On their return to 
Armenia they build fresh boats for the next voyage. 

195. The dress of the Babylonians is a linen tunic 
reaching to the feet, and above it another tunic made 
in wool, besides which they have a short white cloak 
thrown round them, and shoes of a peculiar fashion, 
not unlike those worn by the Boeotians. They have 
long hair, wear turbans on their heads, and anoint 
their whole body with perfumes.' Every one carries 

Horodotua. " When tlie iBfts have 
tieen imlwuled they are broken up, 
and (lio bokiuB, wocxl, and twigs arc 
sold at a cousiderable profit . . . I'hc 
skins are brought liock dtluT upon tlic 
ahouldcni of the mftmen, or upon 
doiikuyii, to Mosul or Tekrit, where the 
nien employed in the iiavigatiou usu- 

ally reside." (Ijiyanl's Kinevch, Part 
I, ch. xiii.) TTie preceding ropreBenta- 
tioQ of the Ku/a is fruni Col. Cbcsney. 
' Tiic dress of the Ilaliyloniana ap- 
pears on thecyliuderB to lieiiH|iccicsof 
flouuccd rube, rciichin;; from their neck 
to their feet. In sonic re]irescntatioDfl 
there ia an ap[>earance of a divieion 

a seal,* and a walking-stick, carved at the top into the 
form of an apple, a rose, a lily, an eagle, or something 

into two (;annenU ; the upper one 
being a sort of short jacket or Lippct, 
flounced like tJie umler-rolxi or jictti- 
coat. This would seem to be the 
v^WiSiav or short cloak of Herodotus. 
The long ]ietticoat would be his xiOiiv 
iToS))WK4f Xutot. The upjier woollen 
tunic may be bidden by the tippet or 

The long hair of the Babylonians is 
very conspicuoua on the cylinders. 
It either deiiends in lengthy tresnes 
which fall over the liack and shonlders, 
or is gathered into what seems a club 
behiod. 'I'hent are sevcrftl varieties 
of head-dress ; the most usual are a 
low cap or turban, from which two 
curved horns branch out, and a higli 
crown or mitre, the appearance ot 
which is very remarkable. It is un- 
certain which of these is the furpa of 

The woodcuts on the preceding page 
will illustrate the above. 

• The Ttabylooian cylinders aliove 
refcrre<l to, of which there arc Bome 
thousands in Uic Museums of Europe, 

arc undoubtedly the 'seals' of Hero- 
dotus. Many imprcBsionsof therabftvo 
been found upon clay-tableta. They 
are round, from half an inch to three - 
inches in length (the generality being 
about an incn long), and about one- 
third of their length in diameter. 
They are of various materials. The 
most usual is a composition in which 
black manganese seems to be the prin- 
cipal ingredient ; but besides this 
they have been found of amethyst, 
Tock-cryslal, cornelian, agate, blood- 
stone, chalcedony, onyx, jasper, ser- 
pentine, pyrites, &c. They are hollow, 
being pierced Trom end to end ; either 
for the purpose of being worn strung 
upon a cord, or perhaps to admit a 
nietal axis, by means of which they were 
rolled upon the clay, so as tJi leave 
their impression on it. (See Layard's 
Nineveh and Babylon, p\\ 602-609.) 
[The inscription on the cylinder! i« 
usually the name of the owner, with 
that of his father, and an epithet, sig- 
nifying the servant of sucn or such n 
goil, the divinity lieiug named who 


similar ;^ for it is not their habit to use a stick without 
an ornament. 

196. Of their customs, whereof I shall now proceed 
to give an account, the following (which I imderstand 
belongs to them in common with the Illyrian tribe of 
the Eneti *) is the wisest in my judgment. Once a year 
in each village the maidens of age to marry were col- 
lected all together into one place ; while the men stood 
round them in a circle. Then a herald called up the 
damsels one by one, and offered them for sale. He 
began with the most beautiful. When she was sold for 
no small sum of money, he offered for sale the one who 
came next to her in beauty. All of them were sold to 
be wives. The richest of the Babylonians who wished 
to wed bid against each other for the loveliest maidens, 
while the humbler wife-seekers, who were indifferent 
about beauty, took the more homely damsels with 
marriage-portions. For the custom was that when the 
herald had gone through the whole number of the 
beautiful damsels, he should then call up the ugliest — a 
cripple, if there chanced to be one — and offer her to 
the men, asking who would agree to take her with the 

was siipi)08od to have presidtnl over , are often found among the ruins of the 
the wearer's hirtli, and to liave him | l^abylonian cities, 
under his protection. In ahnost every j * The Eneti or Ileneti are the 
case — even on the cylinders found at same with the Venetians of later 
Nineveh — the language and character times (Liv. i. 1). Aca^rding to o\w 
are Chalda'an Scytliic, and not As- account they came to Italy with 
Syrian Semitic, though when mere Autenor after the fall of Tn^y, and 
names and epithets occur it is difli- | were Paphiu'^onians. Niehuhr thinks 
cult to distinguish between them. — i tliey could not have Iven Illyrians, 
H. C. K.] or Tolybius v.nuld have noticetl the 
3 U |)on the cylinders the IVibyloni- j fact (Hist, of Home, vol. i. p. 104, 
ans are frequently, but not invariably, j Engl. Tr.), and ctmjectures that they 
represented with sticks. In the Assy- ' weiv Libumiana, (juoting Virgil as 
rian sculptures the officers of the | authority, 
court have always sticks, useil appa- i •• AnUMior potuu 

entlv as staves ofoflice. The heads i Illyrlow jwnetrare simisatquclntlmft tutu* 

of "these are often elaborately ' «^g»* ^•^"'•««'«"»-"— *'"• i- '^"-s. 

wrought. At Perseiwlis the oflicers I But may not the Liburnians have 

of the Persian court l>car similar f been an Ulvrian tribe? SiTvius in 

staves. Ornaments of the nature his comment on the ]>assagc says that 

descrilHKl by Herodotus, which uiay the king of the Venetians at this time 

have been the heails of walking-sticks, was <Knetua, an Illyrian. 



Book I. 

smallest marriage-portion. And the man who offered 
to take the smallest siun had her assigned to him. The 
marriage-portions were furnished by the money paid 
for the beautiful damsels, and thus the fairer maidens 
portioned out the uglier. No one was allowed to give 
his daughter in marriage to the man of his choice, nor 
might anyone carry away the damsel whom he had pur- 
chased without finding bail really and truly to make her 
his wife ; if, however, it turned out that they did not 
agree, the money might be paid back. All who liked 
might come even from distant villages and bid for the 
women. This was the best of all their customs, but it 
has now fallen into disuse.* They have lately hit upon a 
very different plan to save their maidens from violence, 
and prevent their beings torn from them and carried to 
distant cities, which is to bring up their daughters to 
be courtesans. This is now done by all the poorer of 
the common people, who since the conquest have been 
maltreated by their lords, and have had ruin brought 
upon their families. 

197. The following custom seems to me the wisest 
of their institutions next to the one lately praised. 
They have no physicians, but when a man is ill, they 
lay him in the public square, and the passers-by come 
up to him, and if they have ever had his disease them- 
selves or have known any one who has suffered from it, 
they give him advice, recommending him to do whatever 
they found good in their own case, or in the case known 
to them. And no one is allowed to pass the sick man 
in silence without asking him what his ailment is. 

198. They bury their dead in honey ,^ and have 



* Writcra of the Augustan 
(Strabo, xvi. p. 1058 ; Nic. Damasc. p. 
152 ; Oielli) mention this custom as 
still existing in their day. The latter 
testimony, coming from a native of 
Damascus, is particularly valuable. 

® Modern researches show two mcxies 
oflmrial to have prevaileil in ancient 

Babylonia. Ordinarily the bodies 
seem to have been compressed mtoums 
and baked, or burnt. Thousands of 
funeral urns are found on the sites of 
the ancient cities. Coffins are also 
found, but rarely. These are occa- 
sionally of wood (Hich's First Memoir, 
pp. 31-J), but in general of the same 

Cbap. 1B7-190. 



fiineral lamentations like the Egyptians. When a Ba- 
bylonian has consorted with his wife, he sits down before 
a censer of burnuig incense, and the woman sita oppo- 
site to him. At dawn of day they wash ; for till they 
are washed they will not touch any of their common 
vessels. This practice is observed also by the Arabians. 
199. The Babylonians have one moat shameful 
custom. Every woman born in the country must once 
in her life go and sit down in the precinct of Venus, 
and there consort with a stranger. Many of the 
wealthier sort, who are too proud to mix with the 
others, drive in covered carriages to the precinct, 
followed by a goodly train of attendants, and there 
take their station. But the larger number seat them- 
selves within the holy enclosure with wreaths of string 
about their heads, — and here there is always a great 
crowd, some coming and others going; lines of cord 


kind or iKttU-ry iw tlit ums. Siwci- 
metui bxHight from Warhn may he 
seen in tho Itritish BTuxcimi ; tliey 
resfnililc in sljnpe tlio R^'ptitm 
miitnmy-caBeii. Three coffins ii)i;:ht 
have bwn fillet! with lumpy, but (liey 
are tbousht to belong to a conifara- 
tivitly n-cent period. 

rSii many races liavc aiiccessively i 
inliabiteil Ilabyloniti, ami iiindc uw in f 
succt^sirioii of the Knnie ccnictericB, that , 
there is some difflcnlty in aacerlaiiiinn 


to wliat jiarticiilar a^c and nation the 
variona inixles of sepulture that have 
been nu-t with belonped. Tlic biirinl- 
jilaccB, however, of tho primitivo 
HaniiteChalilH'nnflliave been carefully 
pxiuniueil by Mr. Taylor, ancl well 
described bv hini in his two papers 
on Musheir anil Abu-Shalin>iu in the 
Journal of tho Awatic Society (vol. xv. 
{Kirt u.). In these burial-iilacca the 
skeletons arc somctinies found laid 
out in brick vaiilla, but more grnerally 


mark oat pathn in all directiooi: among- the women, and 
thf;^:TH jai» aloii]? tliem to make tbeir choice. A 
woman wlio ha** onct- taken lier seat is not allowed to 
return liomtj till one of the strangvrs throws a alrer 
coin into lier lap, and takes her with him berood the 
holy (2Tomid. AVla-n he throws the coin he savF these 
worrLt — " The goddess Mylitla prosper thee." (Venus 
is called Mylitta by the Asrvrians.) The silver coin 
may \n: of any size ; it cannot be refused, for that U 
forbidden by the law, since once thrown it is sacred. 
The woman fcfibn with the first man who throws her 
money, and rejects no one. When she has gone with 

rejioitiii}; oil ;i Htimtl l.rick |>l!i(lV>nii, oTtlimiiitUKUinuviTy llnhylonian rain, 
Willi a |-iui;ry tnvir i.vtr tlHin, vt-r.v an, I lulievc, of nil ages, froni the 
like n irnji'Tii ilUli-civir. Soiiu- of , enrlioir Cluililiran linifB iIowti to tlic 
tlipw cnvtTR an: imw in ihi: Tlriti^ji ' Ami) mnqiie^t. Abliei) are scmelitiifs 
MiiHRiiiii. Tliu C"fliiiH from Warkn, j Cinnil in tlu-wjnm, but it is far more 
(if ^rwii i!''"^"t joriory, aii.i Hliajed i usual lo meet witli a Fkcleloa pom- 
lik<- II iiU|>|i«r-l«itlj (r>'|.ri'M-iiti:<l oci j jircmiiil into n rmiill si<acc, but witb 
tiin[irt'0-illii«]ii!»'),lil'>n;;i'"liTi.lffllily \ tbc Iwws ami craiiiiim uncalcined; 
tn till- <:iiiililii'iiiiii of tlio rarlliian [ ami in all micli cams as liavo fallen 
a'^, tlio li^run-M iti nJief wliich an- iiniler my lyrsoiial o)>Kcrviition, I have 
Hlaiiiiird nimii tliem lieinj.' iif an en- | foiiinl Hit- nioiiili of the jar mnch too 
tm;ly (iifTcn-iit tliaraclur from the iiamnv lo mliiiii of the i-ossibiUty of 
fi'^iiri'H cin Ihf iiiiti<]ni: cylimlt-r-iicalK. I lln> cranium j assiiig in oroiil ; so that 
'I'hi- fiiiHTiil jars, a-iii II,' which si-ctii j (miIict ihc clay jar must liavc heeii 
lo Iiiivi- Ui'ii imtil for ijnlinary burial, j numliUiI over" llic coq sc, and tlicn 
mill wJiiHi nrii to lip finiml in luinilrc^a | liakiil, which wniilil arcoiint for Ihe 


him, and so satisfied the goddess, she returns home, and 
from that time forth uo gift however great will prevail 
with her. Such of the women as are tall and b^iitiful 
are soon released, but others who are ugly have to stay 
a long time before they can fulfil the law. Some have 
waited three or four years in the precinct.' A custom 
very much like this is found also in certain parts of the 
island of Cyprus. 

200. Such are the customs of the Babylonians gene- 
rally. There are likewise three tribes among them 
who eat nothing but fish." These are cauglit and dried 

ashen inside or the i rck of the jar 
must at my rato hmo been fulled 
■ulwotjnciitly to tho oti tr nlis of in 
tt-rmtnt. In some owe'* two jirs are 
joiniil together 1^1 itiinicii w ns to 
admit of the cor] k bcmg hid it full 
Uivth itiGtcad of hen r. cuniiniwed 
into -t small com|«sa with tho Ki i%» 
resting on tho sh uldcrs Thonoodm 
coftins obsen&l hy Rich must liaie 
been of the Mohammedan period — 
H t R] 

' fhis imliallowed cuslom is men 
tioned among tl o abominntions of the 
rclifcion of the ital^lomanii m t) ehook 
ofBariich(vi 43)~- Ihewominalso 
with conU ahout them sitting in the 
ways, bum bran for perfume ; hut if 
any of them, drawn by wmo that 

]insseth by, lie with him, she re- 
proaches her fellow, that Blie was not 
ihouf^l OS worthy as herself, nor lier 
cord broken." Strabo alito ajieaks of 
it fxvi. p. ior>B). 

* The inhahilanta of t)ic marshes in 
lower Hiibylonia, agiainst whom th« 
Assyrian kings so often make war 
([^yard's Monuments of Nineveh, 
2nd series, plates 21), 27, 2S), aro 
priilably intended ; but it is difficult 
to BiipjHiso that lisii formed really at 
any time their sole food. The niarehes 
mnst always have abounded with 
water-fowl, and they now itu[>|x>rt, 
besideH, vast herds of bulTalocs, which 
form the chief wealth of the inha- 
bilanfs (seu Mr. Ijiyard's Nineveh 
and Babylon, eh. xxiv. {>|i. 553, 5S4). 


in the sun, after which they are brayed in a mortar, 
and strained through a linen sieve. Some prefer to make 
cakes of this material, others bake it into a kind of bread. 

201. When Cyrus had achieved the conquest of the 
Babylonians, he conceived the desire of bringing the 
Massagetae under his dominion. Now the Massaget^ 
are said to be a great and warlike nation, dwelling 
eastward, toward the rising of the sun, beyond the river 
Araxes, and opposite the Issedonians.' By many they 
are regarded as a Scythian race.^ 

202. As for the Araxes, it is, according to some 
accounts, larger, according to others smaller than the 
Ister (Danube). It has islands in it, many of which 
are said to be equal in size to Lesbos. The men who 
inhabit them feed during the summer on roots of all 
kinds, which they dig out of the ground, while they 
store up the fruits, which they gather from the trees at 
the fitting season, to serve them as food in the winter- 
time. Besides the trees whose fruit they gather for this 
purpose, they have also a tree which bears the strangest 
produce. When tliey are met together in companies 
they throw some of it upon the fire round which they 
are sitting, and presently, by the more smell of the 
fumes which it gives out in burning, they grow drunk, 
as the Greeks do with wine. More of the fruit is then 
thrown on the fire, and, their drunkenness increasing, 
they often jump up and begin to dance and sing. Such 
is the account which I have heard of this people. 

The river Araxes, like the Gyndes, which Cyrus dis~ 
persed into three hundred and sixty channels, has its 

® llie Issedonians are mentioned 
repeatedly in Book iv. Their seats 
are not very distinctly marked. They 
lie east of the Argippteans (iv. 25) 
and south of the Arimaspi (ib. til). 
Kennell supjoses them to have occu- 
pied the tract which is now inhabited 
JgMMdUeuthes or Calmuck Tatars. 
J^^^^^fcdotus himself admits that 

the dress and mode of life of both 
nations were the same. Dr. Donaldson 
brings an etymological argimient in 
support of the identity (Varronianus, 
p. 29). Acwrding to him the word 
IScyth is another form of Goth, and 
the Massag<'tae, Thyssageta), &c. are 
branches of the Gothic nation, Mas^sa- 
Goths, Thyssa-Goths, &c. 



source in the country of the Matienians. It has forty 
mouths, whereof all, except one, end in bogs and 
swamps. These bogs and swamps are said to be 
inhabited by a race of men who feed on raw fish, and 
clothe themselves with the skins of seals. The other 
mouth of the river flows with a clear course into the 
Caspian Sea.* 

203. The Caspian is a sea by itself, having no con* 
nexion with any other .^ The sea frequented by the 
Greeks, that beyond the Pillars of Hercules, which is 
called the Atlantic, and also the Erythraean, are all one 
and the same sea. But the Caspian is a distinct sea, 
lying by itself, in length fifteen days* voyage with a row- 
boat, in breadth, at the broadest part, eight days' voy- 
age.* Along its western shore runs the chain of the 

* The geographical knowledge of 
Herodotus seems to be nowhere so 
much at fault as in his account of 
this river. He appears to have con- 
fused together the information which 
had readied him concerning two or 
tliree distinct streams. Tlie Araxcs, 
which rises in the Matienian moun- 
tains, whence tlie Gyndes Jloivs, can 
only be the modem Anus, which has 
its source in the Armenian mountain- 
range near Ei^eroum, and nmning 
eastward joins the Kur near its 
mouth, and falls into the Caspian on 
the west. On the other hand, the 
A raxes, which separates the country 
of the Massagetai (who dwelt to the 
east of the Caspian, ch. 204) from the 
em]>ire of Cyrus, would seem to l)e 
either the Jaxartes (the modern Sir) 
or the Oxus (Jyhun). The number of 
mouths and great size of the islands 
corresiX)nd best \vith the former 
stream, while the division into sepa- 
rate channels, and the i)a«sage of one 
branch into the Caspian, agrees strictly 
with the former state of the Jyhun 

To increase the perplexity, we are 
told (iv. 11) that when the Massageta) 
dispossessed the Scythians of this 
tract of the Casinan, tlic latter 
|)eople " crossed the Arujrs^ and en- 

tered the land of Cimmeria," where 
the Wolga seems to be intended. 
(See Wesseling ad loc.) Probably the 
name Aras (Rha) was given by the 
natives to all, or most, of these 
streams, and Herodotus was not sufE- 
ciently acquainted with the general 
geography to |)erceive that different 
rivers must be intended. 

■ Here the geographical knowledge 
of Herodotus was much in advance of 
his age. Eratosthenes, Strabo, Pom- 
ponius Mela, and Pliny all believed 
that the Caspian Sea was connected 
with the Northern Ocean by a long 
and narrow gulf. False information 
received at the time of Alexander's 
conquests seems to have made geo- 
graphical knowledge retrograde. It 
was reserved for Ptolemy to restore 
the Caspian to its true position of an 
inland sea. 

* It is impossible to make an}' 
exact comi»arison between the actual 
size of the Caspian and the estimate 
of Herodotus, since we do not know 
what distance he intends by the day's 
voyage of a row-boat. No light is 
thrown on this by his estimate of the 
rat<) oi miliny vessels (iv. 86). 

It is ix)ssil)le, however, to compare 
the projiortions. Let it then lie ob- 
served that Ueroilotus makes the 




Caucafms, tlie most extensive and loftiest of all moun- 
tain-ranges.* Many and various are the tribes by 
which it is inhabited, most of whom live entirely on 
tlio wild fniits of the forest. In these forests certain 
tives are said to grow, from the leaves of which, 
p<nmdod and mixed with water, the inhabitants make a 
dyo, wliorewith tliey paint upon their clothes the figures 
of animals : and the figures so impressed never wash 
out^ but last as though they had been inwoven in the 
oh>th from the first, and wear as long as the garment. 

204. On the west then, as I have said, the Caspian 
Stni is lH>undiHl by the range of Caucasus. On the east 
it is foUoweil by a vast plain, stretching out intermi- 
nably Ivfon* the eye,* the greater portion of which is 
|hv<s%\*is^h1 by those Mjissageta?, against whom Cyrus 
was n\>w si> anxious to make an expedition. Many 
slnMijr motives weighed with him and urged him on — 
his bii'th osjHvially, which seemed something more than 
luuuun. and his pHxl fortune in all his former wars, 
will i\ in ho luul alwavs found, that a^inst what country 
s\H^\iM* he turned his arms, it was imp<?ssible for that 
people tv> eseajv. 

UOr>, At this tiuie the Mass;iiretiO were ruled bv a 
tjueen^ tiatued Toiuvris, who at the death of her hus- 
bniul, the late kiuir* had mounted the throne. To her 

ihc •/'«.»;<.■»■', M*»[ tlio /'!/•»;/, lM\'U«tlil 

lu joiiil v'i I ul lliv V.':i.>|'MH is 7."»«* 
lu>li.>i l«»ii4 l!<'in Jioilii tv» "i^MttM, aiui 
^IkmU {00 milv.'."* iU'KuvS Ml !^C i'PMticst 
|«.ut lU»iii ».'.L"*l U' ^^^.'^l. r!'.0>O liurji- 
Win, winch .nv vv»uii:iU itoar O.'.k: 
luiili, .uv '.inuii'i^ III ilio iJo|vnit»ii 
.iiwu b\ Uc»v\Uaii.s ot" 1^ U' S» 'lliciv 
IfVUia U» U' j:K\ii UMsoii, llioivi'oiw to 
u Oh* conciuMvMis ot'w 

\ ^^im'iiMiuil tlio IcMutli ot" ilio 

vu^l lo vsi-Nt, Atu\ its 

Uurth to ^<.>uil)« aiiU \%iu> 

JWVUia U» U' -K 

riz'it ill di/ui'^ S4\ since the sea of 
Anil tormeil a jart o( the C3:»pian in 
i:.i:«tic tiaios. It would l>e stnin'j:e 
::i«Ut.'«l if tilt.' st'a had ^ entire I v 
altcreil its siiai<\ ami yet preserved 
o.\:u.t!y til*.- {■ri.'fortious *y( its ancient 

^ T:::s was true within the limits 
of iJr'v'k -^cocniphical knowleijjie. 
IVak-* in the i.\iTi<.aiiiis attain the 
iioi;^iir of 17,« ■»■♦.> feet. Neither in 
Taurus, v.'T in Z.u:r«s, nor in any of 
tin.' Kirort-an Ai['S is the elevation 
s<.» iirvat. 

■* riu' ilvs4TTs .^f Kliaresui, KiziN 
k*Mi!iu otc, tiic ui«'St .s«->utheru [vrtiou 
of tiic ^tcj'[e redou. 

CnAP. 204-207. QUEEN TOMYRIS. 345 

Cyrus sent ambassadors, with instructions to court her on 
his part, pretending that he wished to take her to wife. 
Tomyxis, however, aware that it was her kingdom, and 
not herself, that he courted, forbade the men to approach. 
Cyrus, therefore, finding that he did not advance his 
designs by this deceit, marched towards the Araxes, 
and openly displaying his hostile intentions, set to 
work to construct a bridge on which his army might 
cross the river, and began building towers upon the 
boats which were to be used in the passage. 

206. While the Persian leader was occupied in these 
labours, Tomyris sent a herald to him, who said, 
" King of the Medes, cease to press this enterprise, for 
thou canst not know if what thou art doing will be of 
real advantage to thee. Be content to rule in peace 
thy own kingdom, and bear to see us reign over the 
countries that are ours to govern. As, however, I know 
thou wilt not choose to hearken to this counsel, since 
there is nothing thou less desirest than peace and quiet- 
ness, come now, if thou art so mightily desirous of 
meeting the MassagetaB in arms, leave thy useless toil 
of bridge-making ; let us retire three days' march from 
the river bank, and do thou come across with thy 
soldiers ; or, if thou likest better to give us battle on 
thy side the stream, retire thyself an equal distance." 
Cyrus, on this offer, called together the chiefs of the 
Persians, and laid the matter before them, requesting 
them to advise him what he should do. All the votes 
were in favour of his letting Tomyris cross the stream, 
and giving battle on Persian ground. 

207. But Croesus the Lydian, who was present at the 
meeting of the chiefs, disapproved of this advice ; he 
therefore rose, and thus delivered his sentiments in 
opposition to it : " Oh ! my king ! I promised thee 
long since, that, as Jove had given me into thy hands, 
I would, to the best of my power, avert impending 
danger from thy house. Alas ! my own sufferings, by 

YOL. I. - 2 a 


their very bitterness, have taught me to be keen- 
sighted of dangers. If thou deemest thyself an im- 
mortal, and thine army an army of immortals, my 
counsel will doubtless be thrown away upon thee. But 
if thou feele^t thyself to be a man, and a ruler of men, 
lay this first to heart, that there is a wheel on which 
the affairs of men revolve, and that its movement for- 
bids the same man to be always fortunate. Now con- 
cerning the matter in hand, my judgment runs coxmter 
to the judgment of thy other counsellors. For if thou 
agreest to give the enemy entrance into thy country, 
consider what risk is run ! Lose the battle, and there- 
with thy whole kingdom is lost. For assuredly, the 
Massagetae, if they win the fight, will not return to their 
homes, but will push forward against the states of thy 
empire. Or if thou gainest the battle, why, then thou 
gainest far less than if thou wert across the stream, where 
thou mightest follow up thy victory. For against thy 
loss, if they defeat thee on thine own ground, must be set 
theirs in like case. Rout their army on the other side 
of the river, and thou mayest push at once into the 
heart of their country. Moreover, were it not disgrace 
intolerable for Cyrus the son of Cambyses to retire 
before and yield ground to a woman ? My counsel 
therefore is, that we cross the stream, and pushing for- 
ward as far as they shall fall back, then seek to get the 
better of them by stratagem. I am told they are im- 
acquainted with the good things on which the Persians 
live, and have never tasted the great delights of life. 
Let us then prepare a feast for them in our camp ; let 
sheep be slaughtered without stint, and the winecups 
be filled full of noble liquor, and let all manner of 
dishes be prepared : then leaving behind us our worst 
troops, let us fall back towards the river. Unless I 
very much mistake, when they see the good fare set 
out, they will forget all else and fall to. Then it will 
remain for us to do our parts manfully." 


208. Cyrus, when the two plans were thus placed in 
contrast before him, changed his mind, and preferring 
the advice which CrcBsus had given, retiu'ned for 
answer to Tomyris, that she should retire, and that he 
would cross the stream. She therefore retired, as she 
had engaged ; and Cyrus, giving Croesus into the care 
of his son Cambyses (whom he had appointed to suc- 
ceed him on the throne), with strict charge to pay him 
all respect and treat him well, if the expedition failed 
of success; and sending them both back to Persia, 
crossed the river with his army. 

209. The first night after the passage, as he slept in 
the enemy's country, a vision appeared to him. He 
seemed to see in his sleep the eldest of the sons of Hys- 
taspes, with wings upon his shoulders, shadowing with 
the one wing Asia, and Europe with the other. Now 
Hystaspes, the son of Arsames, was of the race of the 
Achsemenidse,^ and his eldest son, Darius, was at that 
time scarce twenty years old ; wherefore, not being of age 
to go to the wars, he had remained behind in Persia* 
When Cyrus woke from his sleep, and turned the 
vision over in his mind, it seemed to him no light 
matter. He therefore sent for Hystaspes, and taking 
him aside said, " Hystaspes, thy son is discovered to be 
plotting against me and my crown. I will tell thee 
how I know it so certainly. The gods watch over my 
safety, and warn me beforehand of every danger. 
Now last night, as I lay in my bed, I saw in a vision 
the eldest of thy sons with wings upon his shoulders, 
shadowing with the one wing Asia, and Europe with 
the other. From this it is certain, beyond all possible 
doubt, that he is engaged in some plot against me. 

7 For the entire genealogy of Da- 
rius, see note on Book vii. ch. 11. It 
may be observed here that the in- 
scriptions confirm Herodotus thus far. 
Darius was son of Hystaspes (Vash- 

t4spa) and grandson of Arsames 
(Arshdma). He traced his descent 
through four ancestors to Achaomenes 

2 A 2 



Book I. 

Return thou then at once to Persia, and be sure, when I 
come back from conquering the Massagetsa, to have thy 
son ready to produce before me, that I may examine him." 

210. Thus Cyrus spoke, in the belief that he was 
plotted against by Darius ; but he missed the true 
meaning of the dream, which was sent by Qod to fore- 
warn him, that he was to die then and there, and that 
his kingdom was to fall at last to Darius. 

Hystaspes made answer to Cyrus in these words :— • 
"Heaven forbid, sire, that there should be a Persian 
living who would plot against thee ! If such an one there 
be, may a speedy death overtake him ! Thou foundest 
the Persians a race of slaves, thou hast made them free 
men : thou foundest them subject to others, thou hast 
made them lords of all. If a vision has announced that 
my son is practising against thee, lo, I resign him into 
thy hands to deal with as thou wilt." Hystaspes, when 
he had thus answered, recrossed the Araxes and hastened 
back to Persia, to keep a watch on his son Darius, 

211. Meanwhile Cyrus, having advanced a day's 
march from the river, did as Croesus had advised him, 
and, leaving the worthless portion of his army in the 
camp, drew oflF with his good troops towards the river. 
Soon afterwards, a detachment of the Massagetae, one- 
third of their entire army, led by Spargapises,® son of 
the queen Tomyris, coming up, fell upon the body 
which had been left behind by Cyrus, and on their 
resistance put them to the sword. Then, seeing the 
banquet prepared, they sat down and began to feast. 

■ The identity of this name with 
the " Spargapithes," mentioned as a 
Scythian king in Book iv. (ch. 76), is 
of importance towards determining the 
ethnic family to which the Massagetae 
are to be assigned. The Arian deriv- 
ation of the word (Svarga, pita) is re- 

[The Arian etymology is perhaps 
more apparent than real. At least 

"Heaven father" — which would be 
the meaning of the name in Sanscrit 
— is an unsatisfactory compound. 
And, besides, the sv of the Sanscrit 
invariably changes to an aspirate or 
guttural in the Zend, Persian, and 
other cognate dialects — svarga in fact 
becoming kheng or gang, as in the 
famous gangdiz or Paradise of Persian 
romance. — H. C. R.] 


When they had eaten and drunk their fill, and were 
now sunk in sleep, the Persians under Cyrus arrived, 
slaughtered a great multitude, and made even a larger 
number prisoners. Among these last was Spargapises 

212. When Tomyris heard what had befallen her 
son and her army, she sent a herald to Cyrus, who 
thus addressed the conqueror : — " Thou bloodthirsty 
Cyrus, pride not thyself on this poor success : it was 
the grape-juice — which, when ye drink it, makes you 
so mad, and as ye swallow it down brings up to your 
lips such bold and wicked words — it was this poison 
wherewith thou didst ensnare my child, and so over^ 
earnest him, not in fair open fight. Now hearken what 
I advise, and be sure I advise thee for thy good. 
Eestore my son to me and get thee from the land 
imharmed, triumphant over a third part of the host of 
the MassagetsB. Refuse, and I swear by the sun, the 
sovereign lord of the Massagetae, bloodthirsty as thou 
art, I will give thee thy fill of blood." 

213. To the words of this message Cyrus paid no 
manner of regard. As for Spargapises, the son of the 
queen, when the wine went ofl*, and he saw the extent 
of his calamity, he made request to Cyrus to release 
him from his bonds ; then, when his prayer was 
granted, and the fetters were taken from his limbs, as 
soon as his hands were free, he destroyed himself. 

214. Tomyris, when she found that Cyrus paid no 
heed to her advice, collected all the forces of her king- 
dom, and gave him battle. Of all the combats in which 
the barbarians have engaged among themselves, I 
reckon this to have been the fiercest. The following, 
as I understand, was the manner of it : — First, the two 
armies stood apart and shot their arrows at each other ; 
then, when their quivers were empty, they closed and 
fought hand-to-hand with lances and daggers ; and thus 
they continued fighting for a length of time, neither 



Book I. 

choosing to give ground. At length the Massagetae 
prevailed. The greater part of the army of the Persians 
was destroyed and Cyrus himself fell, after reigning nine 
and twenty years. Search was made among the slain by 
order of the queen for the body of Cyrus, and when it 
was found she took a skin, and, filling it full of human 
blood, she dipped the head of Cyrus in the gore, saying, 
as she thus insulted the corse, " I live and have con- 
quered thee in fight, and yet by thee am I ruined, for 
thou tookest my son with guile ; but thus I make good 
my threat, and give thee thy fill of blood/' Of the 
many different accounts which are given of the death 
of Cyrus, this which I have followed appears to me 
most worthy of credit.* 

• It may bo questioned whether the 
account, which out of many seemed to 
our author most worthy of credit, was 
often really the most credible. Unwit- 
tingly Herodotus was drawn towards 
the most romantic and poetic version 
of each story, and what Jie admired 
most seemed to him the likeliest to 
be true. There is no insincerity or 
pretence in this. In real good faith 
he adopts the most perfectly poetic 
tale or legend. He does not, like 
Livy, knowingly falsify history. 

With respect to the particular mat- 
ter of the death of Cynis, the fact of 
the existence of his tomb at Pasar- 
gada3, vouched for by Aristobulus, one 
of the companions of Alexander (much 
better reported by Arrian, vi. 29, than 
by Strabo, xv. p. 1036), seems con- 
clusive against the historic truth of 
the narrative of Herodotus. Larcher^s 
supposition that the tomb at Pasargadas 
was a cenotaph (Histoire d*H6rod., 
vol. i. p. 509) is contradicted by the 
whole relation in Arrian, where we 
hear not only of the gold sarcophagus, 
but of the body also, whereof, after 
the tomb had been vic»lated, Aristo- 
bulus himself collected and interred 
the jMHttllS. The inscription too (*' I 
ggl^^bfe son of Cambyses, who 
Jr ^Ksmpire of the Persians, 

Asia. Grudge me not 

then this monimaent**) could Bcaioely 
have been placed on a cenotaph, lliere 
can be no reasonable doubt that tlie 
body of Cyrus was interred in the tomb 
described, after Aristobulus, in Arrian. 

According to Xenophon, Cyrus died 
peacefully in his bed (Cyrop. vm. vii.^; 
according to Ctesias, he was severely 
wounded in a battle which he fought 
with the Derbices, and died in camp of 
his wounds (Persic. Excerpt. § 6-8). 
Of these two authors, Ctesias, perhaps, 
is the less untrustworthy. On his 
authority, conjoined with that of He- 
rodotus, it may be considered certain, 
1. That Cyrus died a violent death ; 
and 2. That he received his death- 
wound in fight; but against what 
enemy must continue a doubtful 

There is much reason to believe 
that the tomb of Cynis still exists at 
Murg-Auh, the ancient Pasargadie. 
On a square base, composed of im- 
mense blocks of beautiful white 
marble, rising in steps, stands a 
structure so closely resembling the 
description of Arrian, that it seems 
scarcely possible to doubt its being 
the tomb which in Alexander's time 
contained the body of Cyrus. It is a 
quadrangular house, or rather cham- 
ber, built of huge blocks of marble, 
5 feet thick, which are shaped at the 


35 1 

215. In their dress and mode of living the Massagetse 
resemble the Scythians. They fight both on horseback 
and on foot, neither method Is strange to them : they use 
bows and lances, but their favourite weapon is the battle- 
axe.' Their arms are all either of gold or brass. For 
their spear-points, and arrow-heads, and for their battle- 
axes, they make use of brass ; for head-gear, belts, and 
girdles, of gold. So too with the caparison of their horses, 

top into a sloping roof. Internally 
the chamber is 10 feet long, T wide, 
»nd 8 high. There are holes in the 
tnarhle floor, which seem to hare ad- 
mitted the fastenings ofasarcophac^us. 
The tomb staoda in an area marked 
out by pillars, whereon occurs repeat- 
edly the inscriptioD (written both in 
Persian and in the so-called Median), 
" I am Cyrus the kiug, tlie Achn- 
mcnian," A full account, with a 
sketch of the structure (from which 
the accompanying view is taken), will 
be found in Ker Porter's Travels 
(vol. i. pp. 498-506). U is called by 
the natives the tomb of the Mother of 
Solomon 1 

■ There is some donbt oa to the 
nature of the weapon known to the 

Greeks as the inrvnptc. It has been 
taken for a battle-a:te, a bill-hook, 
and a short curved sword oi acyniitar. 
Bahr (ad loc.) regards it as. identical 
with the liniKonjc, but this is impos- 
sible, since it is mentioned as a dia. 
tiuct weapon in Book iv. (eh. 70J. 
The eipreiuion, a (in at mrfopit, m 
Book vii. (ch. 64) seems to point to 
the battle-axe, which is called uer 
in Anncnian. (Compare the Latin 

[The vayapit is in all probability 
the khaTijar of modem I'ersia, a short, 
curved, double-edged da^cr, almost 
universally worn, lite original form 
of tlie word was probably svagar. — 
H. C. R.] 



Book I. 

they give them breastplates of brass, but employ gold 
about the reins, the bit, and the cheek-plates. They 
use neither iron nor silver, having none in their coun- 
try ; but they have brass and gold in abundance.* 

216. The following are some of their customs : — 
Each man has but one wife, yet all the wives are held 
in common; for this is a custom of the MassagetsB 
and not of the Scythians, as the Greeks wrongly say. 
Human life does not come to its natural close with 
this people ; but when a man grows very old, all his 
kinsfolk collect together and offer him up in sacrifice ; 
offering at the same time some cattle also. After the 
sacrifice they boil the flesh and feast on it ; and those who 
thus end their days are reckoned the happiest. If a man 
dies of disease they do not eat him, but bury him in the 
gromid, bewailing his ill-fortane that he did not come 
to be sacrificed. They sow no grain, but live on their 
herds, and on fish, of which there is great plenty in the 
Araxes. Milk is what they chiefly drink. The only 
god they worship is the sun, and to him they offer the 
horse in sacrifice; under the notion of giving to the 
swiftest of the gods the swiftest of all mortal creatures.^ 

• Both the Ural and the Altai 
mountains ahoond in gold. The rich- 
ness of these regions in this metal 
is indicated (Book iv. ch. 27) hy the 
stories of the gold-guarding Grypes, 
and the Arimaspi who plunder them 
(Book iii. ch. 116). Altai is said to 
be derived from a Tatar word signi- 
fying gold (Rennell's Geogr. of Herod., 
p. 136), The present productiveness 
of the Ural mountains is well known. 
Gold utensils are frequently found in 

the tumuli which abound throughout 
the steppe region. The arms are 
always of brass. 
• So Ovid says of the Persians — 

** PUcat eqno Persia radiis Hjrperiona cincimii. 
Ne detur cel«ri yictima tarda Deo." 

Xenophon ascribes the custom both 
to them (Cyrop. vni. iii, § 24), and to 
the Armenians (A nab. iv. v. § 35). 
Horse sacrifices are said to prevail 
among the modem Parsees. 




1. Date of the taking of Sardis by Cyrus — according to the conunon aocount> B.O. 
546. 2. According to Yolney and Heeren. B.C. 557. 3. Probable actual date, 
B.C. 554. 4. First or mythic period of Lydian history— dynasty of the 
Atyadte. 5. Colonisation of Etruria. 6. Conquest of the Mseonians by the 
Lydians — Torrhebia. 7. Second period — dynasty of the Heraclidss, b.g. 1229 
to B.G. 724— descent of Agron. 8. Scantiness of the historical data for this 
period. 9. Lydiaca of Xanthus. 10. Insignificance of Lydia before Gyges. 
11. Third period, B.O. 724-554 — legend of Gyges — he obtains the throne by 
favour of the Delphic oracle. 12. Reign of Gyges, b.c. 724-686 — ^his wars 
with the Greeks of the coast. 13. Reign of Ardys, b.0. 686-637. 14. In- 
Tasion of the Cimmerians. 15. Reign of Sadyattes, B.C. 637-625. 16. Reign 
of Alyattes, b.c. 625-568 — ^war with Miletus. 17. Great war between Alyattes 
and Cyazares, king of Media — eclipse of Thales, B.c. 610 (?). 18. Peaceful 
close of his reign — employment of the population in the construction of his 
tomb. 19. Supposed association of Croesus in the government by Alyattes. 
20. Reign of Croesus, b.c. 568-554 — his enormous wealth. 21. Powerful 
effect on the Greek mind of his reverse of fortune— his history becomes a 
favourite theme with romance writers, who continually embellish it. 

1. The early chronology of Lydia depends entirely upon the true 
date of the taking of Sardis by Cyrus. Clinton, Grote, Bahr, and 
most recent chronologers, following the authority of Sosicrates ' 
and Solinus, place the capture in the third year of the 58th 
Olympiad, B.C. 546. As Sosicrates flourished in the 2nd century 

' Although Sosicrates is referred to 
by Mr. Grote (vol. iv. p. 264, note •; and 
by Mr. Clinton, under the year B.C. 546, 
as an authority for placing the capture 
of Sardis in that year, yet the passage 
in Diogenes Laertius, to which reference 
is made (i. 95), produces, according to 
Clinton's own showing (Appendix, zvii., 
vol. ii. p. 361), not the year B.C. 546, but 
the following year, b.c. 545. It is, 
perhaps, more important to observe 
that Sosicrates says nothing at all of 
the taking of Sardis, but only affirms 
that Periander died in the last year of 
the 48th Olympiad, forty-one yesLCsbefore 
Crcuus, He can scarcely have meant, 

VOL. I. 

as we should naturally have understood 
from the passage, before the death of 
Croesus; but it is quite possible that 
he may have meant to refer to his ac- 
cession. The following synopsis of the 
dates given in ancient writers for the 
accession of Gyges will show the uncer- 
tainty of the chronology even of the 
third Lydian dynasty : — 


Dionytiui Halicarnas. (in one passage) . 718 
Certain anthort referred to by Pliny . 7 IT 

8o8icrate8(?) T16 

Pliny and Clemens Alexandr. . . . ?08 

Eusebius 699 

DionysiuB Halicsr. (in another passage) 998 

2 B 


B.C, and Solinos in the tune of the Antonines, no great value, as 
Mr. Grote allows,' can be attache<l to th^ evidence^ It is cer- 
tainly confirmed, in some d^ree, by Dionysius of Halicamassiis, 
who, in one panage,' expreaees himaelf in a way which would 
aeem to ahow that he regsunded the event as having occnned only 
two years eariien But it must not be forgotten that firom 
another passage of this writ»;^ it might be gath«^ that he 
woold have placed die capture seventeen years later^ in the 
year RC o^. The date of Solinus also is coniinned or copied 
by Eosebius, who gives the year B.C. 546 for the end of the 
Lydian monarchy.^ 

% Yolney/ on the contrary, main tains, against Solinus and 
Soooates, that the true date of the capture must be many years 
eariier. He proposes b c 5o7 as the most probable year, and 
his conduaions have been adopted by Heeren.^ 

The following objections aeem to lie against the date usually 

The conquest of Astyages by Cyrus is determined by tlie 
general consent of dironologers to Ml within the qiace Blc 
561-558. This event can hardly have preceded the takii^ of 
Sardis by from twelve to fifteen years ; at least if Herodotus is to 
be regarded as a tolerable authority even for the general con- 
nexion of the events of this period. For Herodotus says that 
the defeat of Astyages determined Crcesus to attack Cyrus before 
he became still more powerful ; and that he immediately began 
the consultation of the oracles,^ on whieh« it would seem, the war 
followed within (at most) a year or two. It was the object of 
Croesus to hurry on the struggle, and two or three years (the 
former is the period assigned by Yolney) would probably have 

' HifllofT' of Greece, pert iL eh. ^Trrii > At l«e«t according to tlie AmMniaii 

(▼ol. ir. p. 2»>5, note;. version. Chronic. Canon. Pars iL p. 333. 

' De Thucyd. Charact. c. 5. 'H^«2M>»f * Rechen.*hes sor rULstoire Aneienney 

— i#{i^iMf A4r« TM rS^ \M9 ^wmsTumt^ Tol. i. pp. 3<.'»>-9. 

< * _ r «« r__«i ff/* T xr^^..^i ^t I 

^UX(' ^'* Tlt^i»09 ^•Xtfism MMvi^fimn ni* ' Manual of Ancient Hiet^ book l. 

Uf^m9^ wi^mi rkf {* r«# -ru'rMBMvrs «4u p. 29 (£ng. Translation, Talbojs), and 

%mu40i*H Irt^B yt9fiU9m4 <r»«^K^— yt»iXg^». Appendix. 

An Herodotus eonchides hid history * 'H \KsT9my%»s r«v Ktm^i^tm iyffun^ 

with the year B^. 479, the eoounence- : MmrtuMtiufm rr» Ku»sm rw Kmftftmnmy mmi 
ment of the Lydian history would be, rm rw9 nigrum ^rMiyflm^ 

according to this pamage, b c. 718, hn /ut K««rr«f •«^r«cpr«* «>i^S«r« Ilk U f^a^ 
hich WOtlld give f718-170) B.C. 54^ rtim^ u m^s ivmtr*. «•«<* ^iymX»mt y- 

for the end of the monarchy. »ir/si r«vf ni#rsf. umTmXmfiu* 

* Kpist. ad On. Pompeium, e. 3 Cp. «bfsM^it«r» r^t %%nmmi^ Mirs £• rk^'km 

77«i). \%»i1*r*i Xi, ivi rnt Attain fim^tXtimf *•/•» rsvni* mirtMrn ivi-n^^r* 

-Im^xAm n wfml,ut'EXXn9m9 mtii mtaft, m.t.x. (Herod, i. 46.) So Strabo 
7ri#«f «^Mv }im»40i§*t M»i t7««ri, sajTS, Ui^rm m^' w umriXm^mw rm ll«))w» 

tv/vf mm Av)m* i«^«r«r«» (ZY. p. 1044). 

E88AT I. 



been time enough for all the necessary preparations, including the 
negotiations with Sparta, Egypt, and Babylon.* No one can read 
the narrative in Herodotus and imagine that he meant to repre- 
sent more than a veiy few years as intervening between the 
conquest of the Medes by Cyrus, and Croesus's invasion of Cap- 
padocia. The twelve or thirteen years required by the commonly 
adopted date are contradicted eocpready by his narrative. For 
the whole reign of Croesus is but fourteen years ; and if we assign 
even twelve of these to the period of preparation for the Persian 
war, we leave but two years for all the earlier events of his reign, 
a single one of which, the mourning for his son, is stated to have 
occupied that full period of time J It may be argued, indeed, 
that just as the conquests of Croesus and his interview with 
Solon were (according to some writers *) anterior to the fourteen 
years of his reign as sole king, occurring during a period in which 
he reigned jointly with his father, so the dream, the coming of 
Adrastus, and the marriage and death of Atys, may have pre- 
ceded the decease of Alyattes ; but even though the former 
view should be allowed, the latter suppositions are rendered im- 
possible, both by the general tone of the narrative, and by the 
fact that Croesus was but thirty-five at the death of his £Etther,' 
which would prevent his having a marriageable son till some 
years afterwards. 

The following is the arrangement of the Lydian dynasties 
according to the ordinary chronology : — b^ 

1st Dynasty .. .. Atyadaa .. .. anterior to 1221 
2nd Dynasty ., .. Heraclid« .. .. B.C. 1221 to 716 
3rd Dynasty .. .. Meminadae — 

1. Gyges 

2. Ardys 

3. Sadyattes .. 

4. Alyattes .. 
6. Crcesus 





716 to 678 

678 to 629 

629 to 617 

617 to 560 

560 to 546 

• Herod, i. 69 and 77. » Ibid. i. 46. 

• Larcher. Note on Herod, i. 27 (vol. 
ip.2lO). Clinton F.H. vol. ii. pp. 362-6. 
It will be proved in itu proper place that 
there are no sufficient grounds for be- 
lieving that Alyattes associated Croesus 
in the government, or that any of the 
events aacribed by Herodotus to the 
fourteen years of Croesus belong to the 
reign of Alyattes. The following would 
seem to have been the view taken by 
Herodotus of the reign of Croesus : — 

Tew o# OoMoa. 

iCiteflua, At 36 yean of age (ch. 26), suc- 
ceeds his father. (His son Atys might 
be 10 or la yean old.) Attacks and 
takes EphesuB (cb. 26). 


iOontlnues the war with the Greeks of 
the coast, and afterwards oonqnen 
the whole oountry within the HatTs 
(chaps. 27. 28). AtTs takes part in 
some of these wan (jau 37). 
7. Visit of Solon (ch. 29). 

( Croesus's dream. Marriage of Atys at the 

8.{ age of 18 or 20 (chaps. 34-6). Atys 

^ UUed by Adrantos (chaps. 36-45). 

( Crcesus mourns for Atys (ch. 4ft, end). 

9-10 { Hean of the defeat of Astyages 

* (ch. 46). 
,, ,„ (Croesus sends to Delphi and the other 
* *"*^ • I oracles (chant. 46-56). 

,« ( Alliances concluded with Sparta, Bal^- 
"* t Ion, and Egypt (chaps. 69 and 77). 
,. (Crcesus croeses the Halys, and attacks 
^*'\ Cyrus. SanUa taken 1^ Cyma. 

• Herod, i. 26. 

2 B 2 


Aooording to the d&ronologj of Yolnej, whidi is adopted bj 
HeereOy the aerenJ dates will be as follows : — 

1st Dyiitftj 
2Dd DyxuMtj 
3rd Dynutj' .. .. 


anterior to 1232 

Heraclidae .. 

B.C. 1232to 727 

Xermiuidje — 

1. Gyj5M 

BX. 727 to 689 

2. Ardjs 

„ 689 to 640 

3. Sfldjattes .. 

„ 640 to 628 

4. Alyattes .. 

„ 628 to 571 

5. Croesus 

^ 571 to 557 

S. The dates aannned in the present work are slightly di£Eerent 
from these last. The accession of CrcEsos is regarded as haTing 
ha{q)ened in the year &c. 568, and the fall of Sardis in &C. 554. 
This is in part the necessary consequence of an alteraticm of the 
date of Cynis*s victory over Astyages, which Yolney and Heeren 
place in B.C. 561. As the astronomical canon of Ptolemy fixes 
the death of Cyras to blc 529, and Herodotus ascribes bot 
twenty-nine years to the reign of that prince, it has been thought 
best to regard &a 558 as the first year of Cyrus in Media.^ In 
order, therefore, to preserve the same interval between the defeat 
of Astyages and the fall of Sardis, which Yolney gathers from the 
narrative of Herodotus, the latter event would have to be assigned 
to the year B.a 555. It is here placed one year later on the 
following grounds : — A space of two years does not seem to be 
su£Bcient time to allow for all Crcesus's consultations with the 
oracles, and negotiations with powers so distant as Egypt and 
Babylonia. Yolney 's theory crowds the incidents imnece^arily.^ 
And further, if the fall of Sardis were assigned to the year 
B.C. 555, the negotiations would fall into the year B.C. 556. But 
at this period Labynetus (Nabonadius) did not occupy the throne 
of Babylon. His accession is fixed by the astronomical canon to 
B.a 555. Thus the negotiations could not be earlier than B.a 555, 
nor the fall of Sardis than B.C. 554. This synchronism, which 
escaped the notice of Yolney, seems to be conclusive against his 
scheme, which, starting on sound principles, a conviction of the 

^ The length of CjiWa reign is va- ' the other numbers would be open to 

riotisly stated at 29, 3o, and 31 years. ' suspicion. Jiotmd numbers are always 

I regard the authority of Herodotus as | suspicious ; and the fact that ** the 

io much higher than that of the writers ' ecclesiastical writers/* who were alwava 

who give the other numbers — Justin, seeking to bolster up a system, are the 

Dinon (up, Cic. Div. i. 23), and Euse- sole authority for the 31 years (Syncellue, 

bius give 3<), Sererus and the eccle- p. 497), is a strong argument against 

aiastical writers generally, 31 years — its being the truth, 

that I fa A no hesitation in preferring * See his Recherches, Chronologie dee 

hUk^^^m^^^ Apart, however, from i Rois Lydiens, pp. 307-8. 
'* " of authority. 


worihlessness of such authorities as Solinus and Sosicrates, and a 
feeling that the ordinary chronology, based upon their statements, 
was irreconcilable with Herodotus, advanced to false conclusions 
because the fixed points of contemporary history, which alone 
could determine the true dates, were either forgotten or miscon- 
ceived. By correcting Volney's error and supplying his omission, 
the scheme, adopted in the text, and exhibited synoptically at the 
end of this chapter, has been constructed. It places the events 
of Lydian history seven years earlier than the ordinaiy chrono- 
logy, four years later than the system of Volney and Heeren. It 
is, in brief, as follows : — 

1st Dynasty 
2nd Dynasty 
3rd Dynasty 

AtyadaB .. 
Heraclidfe .. 


anterior to 1229 
B.C. 1229 to 724 

jnerm nauw — 

1. Gyges 

2. Ardys 

3. Sadyattes .. 

4. Alyattes .. 

5. Croesus 

B.C. 724 to 686 
„ 686 to 637 
„ 637 to 625 
„ 625 to 568 
„ 568 to 554* 

4. With regard to the first period of Lydian history, anterior to 
the accession of the dynasty called by Herodotus HeraclidsB, it 
seems rightly termed by Volney and Heeren,' *' uncertain and 
fabulous." The royal genealogies of the AtyadsB (as it has been 
usual to call them), beyond which there is scarcely anything 
belonging to the period that even claims to be history,- have the 
appearance, with which the early Greek annals make us so fami- 
liar, of artificial arrangements of the heroe% eponymi of the nation. 
The Manes, Atys, Lydus, Asies, Tyrsenus of Herodotus and 
Dionysius, and even the Torybus (or Torrhebus) and Adramytes 
of Xanthus Lydus, stand in Lydian history where Hellen, Pe- 
lasgus. Ion, Donis, Achseus, jiEolus, stand in Greek. Only two 
names are handed down in the lists of this period, which are 
devoid to all appearance of an ethnic character, the names of 
Meles and Cotys. Manes, the first king after Zeus, according to 
the complete genealogy preserved in Dionysius,* may fairly be 
considered, as was long ago observed by Freret, the eponymus 

' The Parian marble, in the only date 
bearing on the point which is legible, 
that of the embassy sent from Croesus 
to Delphi (lines 56-7), very nearly 
agrees with this view. The embassy is 
placed in what must cleai'ly be the 
292nd year of the Marble, which is the 
first year of the 56th Olympiad, or 

text would place the first embassy to 
Delphi in B.C. 557, the last in the year 

f Heeren's Manual of Ancient Hist., 
Appendix, iii. (p. 478, £ng. translation, 

* Antiq. Rom. i. 28. This genealogy 
»««v j««. w« .»^ w».^ ^.j^^^^^t w. may be thus exhibited in a tabulat . 
B.C. 556. The scheme adopted in the i form:~- J 



of the MaeoniaDS.' Atys gives his name to the royal race of 
Atyadae, Lydus to the Lydians, Asies to the continent of Aaa» 
Tyrrhenus to the distant Tyrrhenians, Torrhebus, or Torybus, to 
the region of Lydia called Torrhebia, or Torybia, Adnunytes 
to the town of Adramyttium. And the complete genealogy 
referred to above, of which the notices in Herodotus seem to be 
fragments, is, if not an additional proof of the mythical character 
of these personages, yet a sufficient indication of the feeling of 
antiquity with respect to them, llanes, the first king, the son 
of Zeus and Terra, marries Callirhoe, a daughter of Oceanus, and 
becomes thereby the father of Cotys. Ck)tys, removed one step 
further from divinity, is content with an earthly bride, and takes 
to wife Halie, daughter of Tyllus, by whom he has two sons, 
Asies, who gives name to Asia, and Atys, his successor upon the 
throne. Atys marries Callithea, daughter of Chorseus, and is 
father of Tyrsenus and Lydus. 

5. The few facts delivered in connexion with these names are, 
for the most part, as mythical as the personages by whom they 
were borne. The legend which has handed down to us the name 
of Meles ^ is perhaps scarcely less entitled to rank as history than 
the tradition which ascribed the origin of the great Etruscan 
nation to a colony which Tyrrhenus, son of Atys, led into Italy 

Zexia and Terra. 

I — , — , 

Manes =» CalUrho)}, daaghter of Ooeanos. 
Gotys Si Halie, daughter of Tylloa. 


Aatet. Atjs s Callithea, daaghter of Chorsw. 

, ^^ — , 


The three notices in Herodotus (i. 7, 
i. 94, and iv. 45) harmonise perfectly 
with this genealogy, except in a single 
point. In book i. ch. 94, Atys is made 
the son instead of the gp-andson of 
Hanes. This may be an inaccuracy on 
the part of Herodotus, or possibly 
he would have drawn out the tree 
thus: — 


1 ' 1 

Atys. Cotys. 

, ' — '-T-' I 

Lydus. Tyrsenus. Asies. 

It is curious that Freret should positively 
assert (M^moires de I'Acad. des Inscr., 
torn. y..p. 307) » and Qrote maintain as 
bable (vol. iii. p. 300, note), that 
ysius gives the complete genealogy 

from Xanthus, This is quite impossible, 
since Dionysius contrasts the opinion 
of Xanthus with that of the persons 
who put forward this mythical genea- 
logy, in which moreover the name of 
Tyrsenus occurs (not Torrhebus, as 
Grote says, misquoting Dionysius); a 
name of which Xanthus, according to 
the same writer, made no mention at all. 

> M^moires de I'Acaddmie des In- 
scriptions, tom. V. p. 308. 

' Herod, i. 84. I regard the Meles of 
Herodotus, whose wife gave birth to a 
lion, as a very different and far more 
ancient personage than the Meles of 
Eusebiua who reigned shortly before 
Candaules. Both kings are noticed by 
Nicolaus Damascenus (Frag. Hist. Qr., 
vol. iiL p. 371 and 382). 

Essay 1. 




from the far-off land of Lydia. Xanthus, the native hiBtorian, it 
must never be forgotten, ignored the ei^istence of Tyrrhenus, and 
protested against the tradition (which he must have known) not 
merely, as is often said,^ by the negative testimony of silence, but 
by filling up the place of Tyrrhenus with a different personage, 
Torybus or Torrhebus, who, instead of leading a colony into 
Etruria, remained at home and gave his name to a district of his 
native land.^ The arguments of Dionysius,^ deemed worthy of 
the valuable pndse of Niebuhr,^ have met with no su£Scient 
answer from those who, notwithstanding, maintain the Lydiac 
origin of the Etruscans. It remains certain, both that the 
Lydians had no such settled tradition, and that even if they had 
had any such, " it would have deserved no credit by the complete 
difference of the two nations in language, usages, and religion/' * 
All analysis of the Etruscan language leads to the conclusion that 
it is in its non-Pelasgic element altogether m generi^^ and quite 
unconnected, so far as appears, with any of the dialects of Asia 
Minor. The Lydians, on the other hand, who were of the same 
family with the Carians,^ who are called Leleges,' must have 
spoken a language closely akin to the Pelasgic ; and the con- 
nexion of Lydia with Italy, if any, must have been through the 
Pelade, not through the Italic element in the population. 

* Larcher, Histoire d'H^odote, note 
on i. 94 (vol. i. p. 352): " On pourrait 
n5pondre cependant que ce u'est qu'un 
argument n^gatif, qui n'a aucune force 
contre un fait positivement ^nonc^ par 
un historien grave," &c. Creuzer, in 
Symb. ii. p. 828, not. Bahr's Herod. 
Excurs. ii. ad Uerod. i. 94. 

' Xanthus ap. Dionys. Hal. "Kwh X%. 

iy *Ar<f nmretfAtlvat aft^ori^aoti xk) rals 

Aui»t, ««-• )t T«(v/3«P, Ti^uBot. Cf. Steph. 
Byz. in voc. Tifpn^e, Tifpn^t ^riXtt Av 

* Ant. Rom. lib. i. (vol. i. pp. 21-24, 
Oxf. Ed.) 

* History of Rome, vol. i. pp. 38-39 
(Engl, translation, edition of 1831). 

* Ibid. ib. p. 109. It has been said 
(Creuzer, in Symb.) that Xanthus might 
have concealed intentionally what was 
discreditable to his countrymen; but 
could the founding of so great a nation 
as the Etruscan be viewed in that light ? 
Xanthus must have known the story, 
which Herodotus received from certain 

Lydians (^«ri Xi mvrti Av)m, L 94), and 
understood it, as Herodotus himself 
undoubtedly did, to assert the Lydian 
origin of the existing Etruscan people. 
It seems now to be tolerablv certain 
that Niebuhr's attempted distinction 
between the words Tyrrhenian and 
Etruscan is etymologically unsound 
(Donaldson's Varronianus, ch. i. § 11); 
and so the tradition, literally taken, could 
mean nothing but the Lydian origin of 
the Etrusci. Against this I understand 
Xanthus to protest. He need not bo 
considered as pronouncing against the 
connexion, spoken of below, between 
the Pelasgi whom the Etruscans con- 
quered, and the Mseonians whom the 
Lydians drove out, 

7 The attempt made by Mr. Donald* 
son, in his Varronianus (pp. 101-136), to 
connect the Etruscan with the other 
Italic languages, is not generally re- 
garded by comparative philologers as 

■ Lydus was a brother of Car (Herod, 
i. 171). 

ttti xmt xcAm^ivm AiAi^if. — Herod. ib. 
Cf. Strabo, vii. p. 495. 




App. Book I. 

Indeed, if the tradition conceal any fact (and perhaps there 
never yet was a wide-spread tradition that did not), it would 
seem to be this, that a kindred population was spread in early 
times from the shores of Asia Minor to the north-western boun- 
dary of Italy. Nothing is more unlikely than the sudden move- 
ment of a large body of men, in times so remote as those to which 
the tradition refers, from Lydia to the Etruscan coast. Nothing, 
on the other hand, is more probable, or more agreeable to the 
general tenor of ancient history,^ than the gradual passage of a 
kindred people, or kindred tribes, from Asia Minor to western 

It may also well be, as Niebuhr thinks,* that there is another 
entirely distinct misconception in the story, as commonly nar- 
rated. The connexion of race, which the original mythus was 
intended to point out, may have been a connexion between the 
ancient Pelasgic population of Italy on the one hand, and the 
MtBcnianSj not the Lydians, on the other. The Lydians may have 
been, probably were, a distinct race from the MsBonians, whom 
they conquered ; and the mythus may represent the flight of the 
Mseonians westward on the occupation of their country by the 
Lydians. But then it should be remembered that Tyrrhenus and 
Lydus are own brothers, both sons of Atys and Callithea ; that 
is, the two tribes, though distinct, are closely allied, perhaps as 
near to each other as the Greek tribes of Dorians and lonians, to 
which Xanthus, in his version of the story, compared them.' For 
we must not think that there is any more of exact historic truth 
in the tale of Xanthus than in that of Herodotus. Xanthus, too, 
must be expounded mythically. He is to be regarded as telling 
another portion of the truth, omitted from the Herodotean 
mythus, namely, that at the time when one part of the Mseo- 
nians moved westward, another part remained in Asia^ and, 
under the name of Torrhebi, continued to inhabit a district of 
their ancient country, as subjects of their Lydian conquerors. 
Here, too, Lydus and Torrhebus are brothers. This misconcep- 
tion, therefore, if such it be, would ethnically be of very littJe 

* See Appendix to Book vi., ''On 
the Traditions concerning the Pelasgi." 

■ Hifltory of Rome, vol. i. p. 108. 
Niebuhr seems to consider that the 
Lydians and the Mseonians were races 
as unconnected and opposed, as the old 
Pelasgic inhabitants of Italy and their 
Etruscan con^ueroni. I re^^rd all the 

tribes of the West coast of Asia Minor as 

akin to the Pelasgi. See the chapter on 

the Pelasgi, in tl)e Appendix to Book vi. 

* Xanthus in Dion vs. Hal. r»vrM» (sc. 

E88AT I. 



6. One or two facts seem at length to loom forth from the mist 
and darkness of these remote ages ; and these facts appear to 
comprise the whole that can be said to be historic in the tradi- 
tions of the first dynasty. First, the country known to the 
Greeks as Lydia, was anciently occupied by a race distinct, and 
yet not wholly alien from the Lydian, who were called MaH>ni- 
an&^ This people was conquered by the Lydians, and either 
fled westward across the sea, or submitted to the conquerors ; or 
possibly, in part submitted, and in part fled the country. Se- 
condly, from the date of this conquest, or at any rate, from very 
early times, Lydia was divided into two districts, Lydia Proper, 
and Torrhebia, in which two distinct dialects were spoken, differ- 
ing from each other as much as Doric from Ionic Greek. It is 
highly probable that the Torrhebians were a remnant of the more 
ancient people, standing in the same relation to the inhabitants 
of Lydia Proper as the Welsh to the English, or, still more 
exactly, as the Norwegians to the Swedes. 

7. In entering on Herodotus's second period, with respect to 
which he seems to have believed that he possessed accurate chro- 
nological data, it must be at once confessed that we do not find 
ourselves much nearer the domain of authentic history. The 
genealogy of Agron, first king of the second dynasty, is scarcely 
less mythic than that of Lydus himself. Hercules, Alcseus, 
Belus, Ninus — the four immediate ancestors of Agron — form an 
aggregate of names more contradictory, if less decidedly mytho- 
logical, than the list in which figure Zeus and Terra, Callirhoe, 
the daughter of Ocean, and Asies, who gave name to the Asiatic 
continent. While Hercules, with his son AIcsdus, and the name 
Heraclidae, applied by Herodotus to the dynasty, take our 
thoughts to Greece, and indicate a Greek or Pelasgic origin to 
this line of monarchs, Belus, the Babylonian God-king, and 
Ninus, the reputed founder of Nineveh,* summon us away to the 
far regions of Mesopotamia, and suggest an Assyrian conquest of 
the country, or possibly a Semitic origin to the Lydian people. 
Among the wide range of fabulous descents with which ancient 
authors have delighted to fill their pages, it would be difficult to 

* The fact, so often noted, that Homer 
makes no mention of Lydia or Lydians, 
while he names Mseonians in conjunc- 
tion with Carians (Iliad, ii. 864-867) is 
a strong confirmation of the assertion 
of Herodotus. 

^ It is true that Herodotus nowhere 

makes express mention of Kinus as 
founder of Nineveh, but we can scarcely 
be mistaken in considering that this 
name, occurring as it does in connexion 
with that of Belus, indicates that per- 
sonage, so generally regarded by the 
Qreeks as the first monarch of AMtryriBL 



App. Rook I. 

jfind a transition so abrupt and startling, as that from Alcsus, son 
of Hercules, to Belus, fstther of Ninua' It seems neceasary abso- 
lutely to reject one portion of the genealogy or the other, not 
only as untrue, but as unmeaning ; for the elements refuse tn 
amalgamate. Accordingly we find that writers, who, as 
Laicher,^ accept without hesitation the descent from Hercules, pass 
by the names of Ninus and Belus, as though there were nothing 
remarkable in them ; while those who are struck, like Niebuhr,* 
with the importance of such names in such a position, and from the 
fact of their occurrence conclude the dynasty to be Assyrian, are 
obliged to set aside, as insignificant, the descent from Alcseos 
and Herculea This portion of the genealogy can certainly in 
no case be regarded as historical, and at most cannot mean more 
than that the dynasty was Pelasgic, or in other words native ; 
but the other part might possibly be very simple history, and if 
so, it would be history of the most important character. It 
might indicate the very simple fact which Yohiey has drawn 
from it, that Ninus, the founder of the Assyrian empire, con- 
quered Lydia, and placed his son Agron upon the throne.* And 
this would derive confirmation from the celebrated passage of 
Ctesias, where Lydia is included among the conquests of the 
great Assyrian.^ But on the whole the balance of the evidence 
seems to be against any Assyrian conquest, or indeed any early 
connexion of Assyria with Lydia. Herodotus expressly limits 
the empire of the Assyrians to Asia above (i. e, to the east of) 
the Halys,* and no trustworthy author extends their dominion 
beyond it. Ctesias is a writer whose authority is always of the 
weakest, and in the passage referred to he outdoes himself in 
boldness of invention.' Again : there is nothing Semitic, either 
in the names or in the government of the kings of this dynasty, 
nor indeed are any traces to be found of Semitic conquest or 
colonisation in this region.* Further, the Cuneiform inscriptions, 
so far as they have been hitherto decyphered, are silent as to any 

* It does not greatly elucidate this 
mysterious connexion to learn, on the 
authority of Julius Pollux, that *' Ninus, 
son of Belus, gave his own son the name 
of Agron, because he was bom in the 
country" (l» <fcy^). — Larcher on Herod. 
i. 7, note 21. 

' Histoire d'Hdrodote, vol. i., notes 
,L ch. vii. 

Schriften, p. 371. 

I, &o., Chronologie d*H^ 

rodote, vol. i. p. 419. 

» In Diod. Sic. ii. 2. 

■ Book i. ch. 95. 

' Ctesias includes among the con- 
quests of Ninus, besides Lydia, the 
whole of Asia Minor, Armenia, Media, 
Susiana, Persia, Babylonia, Coolesyria, 
Phanlcia. Egypt, and Bactria! 

* This point ia discussed below, in 
the chapter ** On the Ethnic Affinities 
of the Nations of Western Asia." 

Essay I. 



expeditions of the Aasyrians beyond the Halys^ entirely agreeing 
with Herodotus in representing their influence in this quarter as 
confined to the nations immediately bordering upon Armenia.^* 
Moreover the narrative of Herodotus is inconsistent with the 
notion founded upon it, that Ninus conquered Lydia and placed 
his son Agron upon the throne. For Herodotus represents the 
Heradidse as previously subjects of the Atyadse, put by them in 
offices of trust, and so seizing the supreme power, like the 
Mayors of the Palace under the Merovingian line of French 
kings. And they finally obtain the kingdom, not by conquest, 
but by an oracle.^ Herodotus may possibly have conceived of 
Belus and Ninus as going forth from Lydia in the might of their 
divine descent to the conquest of Mesopotamia, but he certainly 
did not conceive of Ninus as coming fh)m Mesopotamia to the 
conquest of Lydia, and establishing his son Agron there as king 
in his room. On the whole it must be concluded that the 
remarkable genealogy — Hercules, Alcseus, Belus, Ninus, Agron — 
contains no atom of truth or meaning, and was the clumsy 
invention of a Lydian, bent on glorifying the ancient kings of 
his country, by claiming for them a connexion with the mightiest 
of the heroes both of Asia and of Greece. 

8. The meagre account which Herodotus proceeds to give of 
his second Lydian dynasty presents but few opportunities for 
remark or criticism. Agron, according to him, was followed by a 
series of twenty-one kings, each the son of his predecessor, whose 
names, except the last two, he omits to mention, and whose 
united reigns made up a period of five hundred and five years. 
On what data this calculation was based it is impossible to say. 
The manifest inconsistency of the years with the generations has 
been observed by many writers,^ and Larcher, in his translation, 
went so far as to change the number of generations from twenty- 
two to fifteen ; but it seems better to leave the discrepancy, one 
proof among many of the extreme uncertainty of this early his- 
tory. Of Myrsus,'' the last king but one, and Candaules, the 

*• See the Commentary on the Cunei- 
form Inscriptions of Bab